The sepid wastewater was spotted by beach-goers last Wednesday (Nov 16), and reported to The Phuket News.
“We will use a backhoe to fix that problem soon,” MaAnn Samran, Chief of the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor), told The Phuket News reporters he called to his office to respond in person to the issue.
Mr MaAnn did not elaborate on how a backhoe would stem the flow of wastewater onto beach.
He did, however, confirm that the B320-million project initiated in 2012 to expand the sewage system in the area and install a wastewater-treatment plant had yet to come onstream.
“The project is about 80 per cent complete, we are now only waiting for the Phuket Governor to sign approval for Phase II of the project,” he said.
As promised in January, Mr MaAnn confirmed that Cherng Talay OrBorTor trucks were pumping wastewater from Surin and Bang Tao beaches every day at 10am, 1pm and 2pm.
“This is only a temporary measure. The wastewater will go through filtation treatment adn will be stored at a treatment plant until we’re ready to treat it fully and release it elsewhere,” he said.
Chief MaAnn explained that Phase II of the sewage-system upgrade had been already approved by the Department of Environment Quality Promotion (DEQP).
“We have already sent the relevant documents to the Phuket Governor to sign his approval so we can go ahead with the rest of this project,” he said.
“In the meantime, I have asked local officials, residents and business operators to help us keep drains free from rubbish. Please do not dump wastewater into the canal,” he added.
Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan told The Phuket News on Wednesday (Nov 23) that improving the quality of the water at Phuket’s beaches was among his top priorities and that he would be looking into the issue personally.
“Wastewater at Phuket’s beaches is on my list of issues that need to be resolved. My team will investigate and follow up on water quality this month,” he said.
“This issue is being tackled now, but first we need to check the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) in the water then we will coordinate with local administration organisations in each area to let them know what needs to be done next,” he added.
Affirming his personal role ni improving beach water in Phuket, Gov Chockchai said, “Anything that happens on Phuket’s beaches or to our water sources that affects water quality, I must know. I will follow up on all information from officialss taking care of this issue.”
Gov Chockchai’s promise might be music to local resident Darapron Sandeenasiri’s ears. She told The Phuket News that many people had complained to the Cherng Talay OrBorTor about wastewater being pumped onto Surin Beach over the past two years.
“The issue has not yet been resolved despite the president of the OrBorTor telling residents that there is an ongoing project to solve the problem,” she said.
“I want to know whether the OrBorTor is really doing the project, or whether they just said they were as a way of addressing unrelenting complaints from local residents and business operators.”