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Officials tackle black wastewater at Karon Beach

Officials tackle black wastewater at Karon Beach

PHUKET: Local officials are rushing to take remedial action over dark wastewater flowing across the sand and into the sea at the northern end of Karon Beach, scaring tourists and local people over health concerns.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 28 February 2023, 11:20AM

The dark water was first noticed by officials on Sunday (Feb 26), “causing tourists to panic and run away from the sea”, said a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) today (Feb 28).

The colour of the water led many people in the area to believe that untreated sewage was being dumped into the waterways further upstream, the report noted.

Officers from Karon Municipality arrived to inspect the site at Nong Harn Lake yesterday (Feb 27). Among them was Karon Deputy Mayor Wanlop Nadon, joined by Karon Municipality Public Works Chief Sanan Rakdam and Chatporn Charoenvej, Head of Wastewater Treatment Works at Karon Municipality.

According to the official report, rain in the area usually washed away sediment in the channel coming from local public waterways.

However, the report said the key factor was that the channel had not been dredged for 10 years. “This caused the water flowing into the sea to turn black, similar to wastewater. This made people and tourists understand that it is wastewater,” the report said.

“Originally, the solution was to dredge the channel twice a year, but it was not possible to do so because the contractor had left the job due to bidding at a very low price, and was therefore unable to proceed according to the specified project,” the report continued.

Karon Municipality has now ordered the channel to be dredged as soon as possible so that the dark wastewater would not be impeded into flowing into the sea.

More than 200 local business operators were also called to a meeting and told to strictly ensure their wastewater treatment systems were fully functional according to correct standards.

Many operators had reopened their businesses quickly as the COVID-19 measures were eased, with many of the “systems” not operating at 100%, the report said.

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Officers from Karon Municipality will now be conducting inspections of local businesses to ensure compliance, the PR Phuket report said.

“If violations are found, they will order the business to suspend operations until improvements are complete before the business will be allowed to reopen for service again,” the report warned.

“The officers will also create awareness among local people to take part in sustainable environmental conservation practices in accordance with the law,” the report said.

“Karon is one of the famous tourist areas of Phuket, and is popluar with tourists from all over the world travelling here,” Mr Sanan said.

“Most of them are tourists who love perfect nature, and Karon Municipality has given great importance to taking care of the environment by emphasising to business operators and local people to strictly comply with the requirements of environmental laws.

“If an offense is detected by releasing wastewater into public waterways, affecting the image of tourism, the business will be shut down immediately. Many restaurants near the Karon Municipality Office have been ordered to close until the renovations are completed and have passed the inspection. Only then will it be allowed to open for service,” he said.

“Even though the events that occurred this time have come from natural causes, we must admit that it greatly affects the tourism image of the area,” Mr Sanan said.

“Karon Municipality will expedite short-term solutions to the problem and start making long-term plans with the relevant agencies in order to build confidence among the public and tourists as well as enhance the image of Karon being a perfect natural tourism area for tourists from all over the world,” Mr Sanan concluded.

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Kurt | 02 March 2023 - 08:20:06

Lets hope a foreign newspaper hire a foreign lab to take water samples of Phuket beaches, and publish results. This to protect health of foreign tourists. Was that not done many years ago, with shocking outcome? Outcome Phuket officialdom refused to accept.

Pooliekev | 01 March 2023 - 19:27:47

@DK. Only until he finds out that he'll be paying for it through outrageous taxation, then it will be 'but in Thailand.......'

DeKaaskopp | 01 March 2023 - 14:01:21

"Time to leave this cesspit"   Yes,please do it asap ! Hope some more on here will follow !

JohnC | 01 March 2023 - 09:09:45

Tourists who 'love perfect nature' wouldn't dare set a foot on Phuket Island because there isn't much of it left that is nature. Greed and corruption have spolit any chance of this place every being able to be called a 'paradise' ever again. Time to leave this cesspit!

Kurt | 01 March 2023 - 09:03:26

Two non touristic Covid years, no bloom, no black water at Phuket beaches. Now it is back. And a Karon channel what supposed to be dregded every 6 months not done in 10 years??? Wow, if that is not Officialdom neglicence, what than is it? And Sanan? He not even comes further than the 'thought' it comes from natural courses. Why Sanan not let the water be tested by a foreign lab? What a mes...

Capricornball | 28 February 2023 - 11:58:47

Again, officials chasing their tails in response to water pollution, blaming it on nature. So, the problem is they need to dredge it so the sh!^ water can freely discharge to the sea. Greed and incompetence are killing this place, and it's not just Karon (see Kamala, BangTao, and the growing black water cesspool at Surin). Never a meaningful solution from officials, just lies and excuses.

johnkettly | 28 February 2023 - 11:41:10

Amazingly no mention of dark water samples being taken and sent for testing.


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