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Kamala beach wastewater woes continue

PHUKET: A week after Kamala officials promised to take action over black wastewater running across the sand at Kamala Beach, the Pak Bang Canal that feeds the dark stream remains a shiny black, and reeking with a foul stench.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 4 April 2023, 09:00AM

A long-term expat who first moved into the area more than two decades ago told The Phuket News, “The Kamala beach klong is stinking so much no one is eating in the restaurants next to the river… 

“The smell is so bad people have headaches. Even the jet-skis are not going into the water. It’s sad to see,” he said.

The expat noted that Kamala’s problems with the black wastewater in the canal became exponentially prominent after a large resort opened in the area, right alongside the canal, yet the resort has yet to be highlighted for its contribution to the problem.

Officials have long “asked” local residents to ensure wastewater is “treated” before being emptied into the canal, which runs through key areas in the popular tourist town.

The long-term Phuket expat also noted that officials give the recurring problem, nearly an annual event, little serious attention as the problem does not present itself during the rainy season, when regular rainfall helps to flush the canal into Kamala Bay.

“The other contributing factor is that when the post-tsunami ’beautification’ of the beach and the local park took place, the original, natural flow of waters from the hills was diverted,” the expat explained.

Only last week did local officials say they would urgently have a channel dredged deeper across Kamala Beach so that the black wastewater could flow quicker across the beach and into the sea.

Open Kitchen Laguna

The decision was made last Tuesday (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 over the previous 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 admitted that the water had turned black due to the accumulation of wastewater being dumped into the canal by local sources.

An aerator would be installed to generate oxygen in the water in the canal, he said.

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

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once burned | 10 April 2023 - 10:48:02

Thsi is great reporting....leaves the Bangkok Post's reporters in shame, by comparison. keep up the good work, Khun Editor. the idea to get some photos into the Daily Mail is a terriric idea. Thai officials are horrified when there's bad publicity. 

Kakka2 | 06 April 2023 - 12:08:17

@Kurt, Looking at the air quality in BKK and ChiangMai looks like whales not only poo but also fart a lot..lol that the real reason of the smoke up there yeah..wonder why that Sonchai guy did not told us this earlier... 

Kurt | 06 April 2023 - 09:29:08

It is a shame that groups of whales frequent Phuket beaches during High Season to poo there. Very naughty.  :-) And that while the wind at west coast is now off-shore.  :-)  How the whales do that?

Kakka2 | 06 April 2023 - 08:13:52

must be whales pooing like ever before...i'm very sure about that..lol 

Old guy | 05 April 2023 - 18:02:01

@vegasbaby. What on earth gave you the idea that Thailand has ever had a responsible culture? Kamala has had this sewage problem for decades. 10 years ago, some high priced resorts paid enough to be allowed to build resort complexes on the north end adding even more sewage. 

vegasbaby | 04 April 2023 - 19:57:48

A responsible  culture would notice the problem, identify the source. propose several solutions, then take the best actions to solve the problem   to insure it does not happen again.  The Thai officials don't  even see or acknowledge that dumping raw sewage into the sea is a problem/

Old guy | 04 April 2023 - 17:24:55

the same amount of sewage goes in the bay every day year round

Old guy | 04 April 2023 - 17:22:11

Remember, the same amount of sewage is dumped in the bay by these people.  It's just diluted by a greater amount of water.  CdM (Chase du Money?) is expensive because of all the grease they have to put on the big wheels. TIT-LOS

Fascinated | 04 April 2023 - 15:51:14

Still no report on the effectiveness of the 'waste water treatment plant' with no catchment, inflow or outflow pipes but just under B60m spent on it. There won't be an investigation into the 'large resort' if one was aware of who one of the owners is- follow the money.  Plenty of hoi poloi present for the ground breaking ceremony.

Paddy | 04 April 2023 - 12:05:22

Easy fix, just go down the length of the canal in a boat, if they dare and follow all the pipes that are dumping their waste into the canal . Close the offending businesses until they put in a proper waste management system.

Kurt | 04 April 2023 - 11:26:57

Phuket has now environmental wise 3 health problem beaches.  Kamala-, and Karon Beach for their 'black water'. And Patong for less visible unhygenic water as well. ( show again the aerial photos of Patong Beach water before, and during Covid time). We are at patong Beach back in pre-Covid time bad beach water quality.

maverick | 04 April 2023 - 10:46:37

Quite disgraceful really - authorities had ample time when things were quiet to fix these problems with the canals and waste disposal - they chose not to and this long dry spell has caught them off guard - shameful 

Kurt | 04 April 2023 - 10:43:38

Well, Phuket now 1 beach lesser. Forget Kamala Beach. Water quality of Patong beach is, although not that much visible, not of good quality as well. Horse shoe shape of Patong Bay prevents a Beach water cleaning current. To much untreated waste water release. Time foreign newspapers test secretly Phuket beach waters and publish it international. Only way to get things improved.

Kurt | 04 April 2023 - 10:30:12

An aerator doesn't lower the pollution with oxygen of 30+ degrees. Water-treatment machine broken? hehehe. Looking into the water-treatment maintainance logbook will tell us 'why'. The old embedded habit here, as long something works no need to look after it. When broken, we start 'desk work',  with asking repair budget( don't forget commission). That takes time, probably t...

Kurt | 04 April 2023 - 10:16:31

How to treat. as a private resident household, my waste water before releasing it to ..I don't know'...,but probably into that high end of that disastrous canal? Dredging the canal deeper is no solution, the same or even more polluted water runs into the sea.  Of course, during rain season more diluted, lesser visible, so Officials can close eyes again and lean back.

phkt-2016 | 04 April 2023 - 10:04:36

please keep reporting you seem to be the only source concerned and making noise. well done


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