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Black wastewater streams across Kamala Beach

Black wastewater streams across Kamala Beach

PHUKET: Local officials will urgently have a channel dredged deeper across the popular Kamala Beach so that black wastewater can flow quicker across the beach and into the sea.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 28 March 2023, 06:09PM

The decision was made this morning (Mar 28) during an inspection of the beach by Kathu District Chief Thitiwat Boonkij and Kamala Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) President Jutha Doomluck.

The couple inspected the beach following a ‘red tide’ of what officials like to call a “plankton bloom” washing up onto the beach in recent days.

A cleanup of the red “seaweed” was conducted to make the beach picturesque once again. However, the black wastewater in the Pak Bang Canal, which runs through Kamala and streams across the beach, remained unresolved.

Kathu District Chief Thitiwat today admitted that the water had turned black due to the accumulation of wastewater being dumped into the canal by local sources.

He also blamed ‘neap tides’ for not reaching high enough up the beach to help wash away the pollution that streams into the bay, which is home to one of Phuket’s most popular tourist beaches.

“During the dry season, there is often a problem like this,” Mr Thitiwat said.

“Kamala OrBorTor will pump out the water from the canal and we will send a team to remove the sand ridge that narrows down the waterway to the sea tonight,” he explained.

Also, an aerator will be installed to generate oxygen in the water in the canal, he added.

“In addition, the water-treatment machine in the canal is broken,” Mr Thitiwat told The Phuket News.

However, Kamala OrBorTor Chief Mr Jutha has yet to publicly recognise any faults with wastewater treatment equipment installed to clean the water in the canal.

Over the years Kamala Beach has been plagued by recurring incidents of black wastewater flowing across the sand.

in 2020, in an attempt to avoid further recurring incidents, a wastewater-treatment plant costing B58 million was installed to treat the water in the Pak Bang Canal.

Kamala OrBorTor will make a public announcement asking for cooperation from everyone in the area not to throw the trash into the water, Chief Thitiwat said.

Thai Residential

Residents will be asked to separate trash before disposing of it properly, and to ensure wastewater is treated before releasing it into the drains, he said.

“In the long term, the canal will be dredged to remove the accumulated sediment under a project organised by the Wastewater Management Authority,” Mr Thitiwat said.


Meanwhile, officers from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) inspected dark beach water at the popular Plub Pla Bay area on Racha Yai Island, south of Phuket.

The inspection followed local residents voicing concerns that the dark water, stretching some 200 metres along the beach, resembled an oil slick.

However, DMCR officers confirmed that the dark water was the result of yet another plankton bloom, or the result of “whale poop”. Either way, the cause was attributed to a “a natural phenomenon that causes the sea to change colour to brown, red or green, etc.”

“This is due to the proliferation of single-celled algae in the sea, which makes the sea look a different colour than usual,” one officer said.

“And this phenomenon can be dangerous for fish and other marine life,” the officer added.

No comment was made on whether the dark water presented a health hazards for humans.

The DMCR officers collected samples of the dark water for testing to confirm their hypothesis, or determine a different cause of the phenomenon.

The sudden attention to the quality of sea water at key beaches in the Phuket area comes as Lt Gen Santi Sakuntanark, Commander of the 4th Army Region, based in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, inspects tourist-popular beaches to ensure they are managed “for tourists’ security and to preserve nature”.

Lt Gen Santi yesterday led a team of army personnel to inspect beaches on Phuket’s west coast, including Kata Beach and Freedom Beach.

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Kurt | 30 March 2023 - 15:32:38

Wow, a new one!! Just before 'Fools day'! Whale poop!   Are they reall thinking the people believe that intelligent whales are are that stupid to enter Phuket water polluted areas for a swim and poop there? Phuket Officialdom makes itself immortal ridiculous. Amazing Phuket.

Kakka2 | 30 March 2023 - 09:34:11

the only poo here is mokey poo, all those living there and managing this  all mess,...

Fascinated | 29 March 2023 - 14:37:22

Oner wonders how a processing facility works with no inlet pipe, no outlet pipe and no coffer dam to contain the water before it is processed.  Just sayin!

JohnC | 29 March 2023 - 09:12:11

Whale poop??? They will try and blame anything but the true cause of the constant pollution surrounding us. Human greed and complacency.

Capricornball | 28 March 2023 - 20:58:59

This filth has been oozing into Kamala Bay for decades, and the useless wastewater plant was put in a park in the middle of a prime tourist area, and has done nothing to improve water quality, and much to the contrary. This entire island is dying an environmental death at the hands of unqualified, self-serving, greedy and corrupt local officials. I don't expect anything different any time soon...

Capricornball | 28 March 2023 - 20:53:28

It is no surprise that this recurring problem never gets fixed, because there is no professionalism involved on any level. Chief Thitiwat is clueless and spouts nonsense, and clearly hasn't a clue what he's talking about. Orbotor Chief Jutha is worse, just an arrogant self-serving politician that knows nothing about running a community. He has no clue about planning or environmental mgmt. 

Fascinated | 28 March 2023 - 18:51:47

Has anyone actually been inside the 'wastewater treatment plant' on the Pak Bang Canal in Kamala. Since it was 'built' I don't think I've ever seen anyone going in or out- it appears to be a sham. Follow the money- maybe the Phuket news could investigate.


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