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Plankton bloom at Phuket beach spurs wastewater treatment action from Patong Mayor

PHUKET: A plankton bloom appearing at Patong beach at the weekend has spurred Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup to call an urgent meeting with the Governor of Phuket regarding delays in the construction of the area’s new wastewater treatment plant.

environment, health, pollution, marine,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Monday 24 April 2017, 05:52PM

A photo sent in by a The Phuket News reader at the weekend shows the latest plankton bloom at the popular beach. Photo: supplied
A photo sent in by a The Phuket News reader at the weekend shows the latest plankton bloom at the popular beach. Photo: supplied

The Phuket News was first informed of the bloom by a reader on Saturday (Apr 22) and again yesterday (Apr 23). However, it should be noted that the reader today (Apr 24) said that the bloom had gone.

“I know that the cause of this bloom is the same as on other occasions, it is too much phosphorus and nitrogen in the wastewater being released into the sea.

“In light of this latest bloom I have requested for a meeting with Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong tomorrow (Apr 25) to explain how important it is to get the new wastewater treatment plant constructed,” she said.

“The construction of the plant was agreed three years ago and we are committed to move forward with it, and this has to progress soon.

“The budget for construction of the plant is not coming from Patong Municiplaity, it is coming from the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning in Bangkok so it is not easy for me to urge for the project to move forward, this is why I need the assistance of Gov Norraphat,” she added.

On May 18 last year, Mayor Chalermluck announced that she was moving ahead with plans to build a new B80 million wastewater-treatment plant in the resort town.

The news was announced when Mayor Chalermluck revealed that Phuket Environmental Committee had admitted that excessive nitrogen in the beach water had caused plankton blooms that have turned Patong Bay beachwater brown several times. (See story here.)

On March 4, 2017, Department of Local Administration Director-General Jarin Jakkapak confirmed approval of the wasterwater-treatment plant.

With the addition of the new wastewater treatment plant, it is expected to that 70% of wastewater from within Patong Municipality will be treated before being released into the sea. (See story here.)



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Kurt | 25 April 2017 - 09:55:43

What for a urgent meeting? 
The Patong Bay 'bloom' pollution is a years long continuing story due to letting very polluted water flow from Patong into Patong Bay.

If the 'bloom' was natural there is no need for urgent meetings, right?
The link between the 'bloom' and the waste water + absence of a 100% normal working Patong waste water plant is saying it all, yes?

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BenPendejo | 24 April 2017 - 21:56:10

What good is a new treatment plant going to do if 99% of wastewater discharged from throughout the city continue to be piped into the storm drain system?  This is the result of crap planning (actually, NO planning) and a mad race to develop every inch of the place without doing anything to manage wastewater.  My family and I were visiting friends in Kamala this Sunday...and the water there isn't having an algae is just filthy and polluted and I refused to let my kids swim in it.  This filthy water is the result of having ZERO infrastructure, and nothing planned in that town, except an accelerated development schedule to pave every damn inch of the place as fast as possible.  Kamala is one big construction site, and is in for a MAJOR fall. 

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Kurt | 24 April 2017 - 19:42:50

And when becomes that promise of 70% treatment of the Patong released dirt, faeces and urine, realized?
Why not 100%?

All that shuffle talks between departments ( need meeting, need attention), all so responsibility avoiding childish.
Also 30% gives bloom in the water cause infections eyes, nose, ears and skin.
Specially with children, coming from countries were is no 'bloom' at beaches.

I not understand why thai officials are so hard headed and call the 'bloom' in horse shoe bay Patong a minor issue.
They just talk in favor of their money coffers.
Not care about beach tourists at all when it come to quality of beach water.
Time a foreign tv station comes in again and take water samples at patong beach.
Just 15 meters from the sand, not 500 meters away were nobody swims, hahahaha

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