Lubricants in the majority of water resource facilities in South Korea pose threats to public safety and the environment, alleged the Liberty Korea Party.
Only 25 percent of dams and reservoirs in the country use eco-friendly lube oil for the hydraulic cylinders of floodgates, Representative Lee Woohyun claimed during the latest National Assembly inspection process. The remaining 75 percent apply lubricants for industrial use.
Lee expressed concerns with this practice, citing a hydraulic oil leakage accident that happened in the Sejong reservoir last year. Category 1 cancer-causing substances, such as benzopyrene and total petroleum hydrocarbons, were detected from the water after the accident.
He noted that, Even without such an accident, the use of industrial lubricants itself is dangerous since the lubricants applied to floodgates can always seep into the water.
Lee told Lube Report Asia that currently, the choice and purchase of lubricants is performed only based on flash point, pour point and foamability parameters, with no regard to effects of lubes on human health and the ecosystem. He said its urgent to establish environmental standards as well as management and supervision systems on water resources.
Korea Water Resources Corp. is responsible for the management of water resources in the country.
“We have applied environment-friendly lubricants to parts and equipments directly exposed to water,” Lee Donghyun, an official of Korea Water Resources Corp., told Lube Report Asia on Monday. “The industrial lubricants were used only to sealed and enclosed parts such as the gearbox of floodgate hoist, which took 75 percent [of all waterway system lubricants]. Korea Water Resources Corp. is planning to expand the usage of environment-friendly lubricants to all parts of our facilities.”