Korean J Parasitol.  2011 Mar;49(1):9-15. 10.3347/kjp.2011.49.1.9.

A Ten-year Survey of Giardia Cysts in Drinking Water Supplies of Seoul, the Republic of Korea

  • 1Seoul Waterworks Research Institute, Seoul 143-202, Korea. mylee9@seoul.go.kr


To understand the distribution of Giardia cysts in drinking water supplies in Seoul, Korea, we collected water samples quarterly at 6 intakes in the Han River, its largest stream and 6 conventional water treatment plants (WTPs) serving drinking water, from 2000 to 2009. Giardia cysts in each of 10 L water were confirmed in 35.0% of intake water samples and the arithmetic mean was 1.65 cysts/10 L (range 0-35 cysts/10 L). The lowest cyst density was observed at Paldang and Kangbuk intakes, and the pollution level was higher at 4 intakes downstream. It seemed that these 4 intakes were under influence of Wangsuk stream at the end of which cysts were found in all samples with the mean of 140 cysts/10 L. The annual mean number of cysts was 0.21-4.21 cysts/10 L, and the cyst level at the second half of the 10 years was about 1/5 of that at first half on average. The cysts were more frequently found in winter, and their mean density was 3.74 cysts/10 L in winter and 0.80-1.08 cysts/10 L in other seasons. All finished water samples collected at 6 WTPs were negative for Giardia in each of 100 L sample for 10 years and cyst removal by physical process was average 2.9-log. It was concluded that conventional water treatment at 6 WTPs of Seoul appears to remove the cysts effectively under the present level of their source water. Domestic wastewater from the urban region could be an important source of Giardia pollution in the river.


Giardia lamblia; cyst; drinking water supply; source water; conventional water treatment; Seoul

MeSH Terms

Fresh Water/*parasitology
Giardia/growth & development/*isolation & purification
Republic of Korea
Water Supply/*analysis
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