The news was announced yesterday (May 18), 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 already this year.
Mayor Chalermluck announced her plans to build the new wastewater plant after meeting with the Phuket Environmental Committee yesterday.
“It is time to make the environment to be better. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the new plant is already done. We have considered this for a while, it is not just in reaction to the plankton blooms,” Mayor Chalermluck told The Phuket News.
The new plant will be located alongside the Pak Bang Canal, which runs through Patong town, she added.
“The exact location has yet to be set, but it will be somewhere near where the existing wastewater-treatment plant is,” she added.
Mayor Chalermluck noted, “At the meeting, the Phuket Environmental Committee said they had concluded that nitrogen in the water caused the plankton bloom.
“There is too much nitrogen in Patong’s wastewater (which flows to the beach), which means we have to increase our efforts and move faster to counter this problem.”
Mayor Chalermluck added that Patong Municipality is rushing to expand the wastewater drain network throughout Patong.
“This includes the installation of a ‘water gate’ along the Pak Bang Canal, of which construction is already underway with a separate budget B7.5 million,” she said.
“The water gate will be completed in four months. It will collect wastewater and sewage from the canal and direct it to the existing wastewater-treatment plant, where it will be cleaned and returned to the canal,” she explained.
Mayor Chalermluck blamed the rapid growth of Patong over the past decade for its inability to cope with such infrastructure demands.
“Patong has grown so quickly that the installation of the drains network has not been able to keep pace. This is why untreated wastewater ends up being released into the sea,” she said.