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Phuket environmental officials target Patong’s untreated wastewater problem

PHUKET: Officials from Environmental Department’s Region 15 office in Phuket today collected samples of wastewater from Pak Bang Canal in the hope of determining what caused the beach water in Patong Bay to turn brown this past week.

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Monday 18 April 2016, 06:15PM


Samples were collected from about 100m downstream from the Patong Municipality wastewater treatment plant and at several points along the canal to where the waterway empties into Patong Bay at the southern end of the beach.

Samples were also collected from along the Patong beachfront, said environmental officer Khanchit Soontrakorn.

“We especially inspected the water released by the Patong wastewater treatment plant,” Mr Khanchit told The Phuket News.

“We know that Patong Municipality has its own individual company hired to test water quality of the water it releases, but we want to know the volume of nutrients that is in the water that is released by the plant, which could which affect plankton in bay,” he said.

However, Mr Khanchit said that his officers will have to wait 10 days for the water-quality test results.

“Then we can figure out what caused the water at Patong Beach to change colour and how to solve the problem,” he added.

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“The Patong Municipality wastewater treatment plant receives wastewater from an area covering about 12.4 square kilometres – which is about 80 per cent of the whole Patong area,” Mr Khanchit explained.

“We know that Patong Municipality is working on expanding its wastewater treatment coverage to include the remaining 20% of the Patong area... and we know they are looking at doing this soon... but at this stage that is all we know.” he said.

The samples collected today fly in the face of officials on Saturday (Apr 16) assuring that wastewater released by the Patong Municipality plant did not contribute to the problem of the Patong beachfront water turning brown. (See story here.)

The inspection of the Patong Municipality wastewater treatment plant on Saturday, led by Phuket Vice Governor Khajornkiet Rakpanichmanee, followed aerial footage of brown water in Patong bay and the canal going viral on a local community Facebook page. (See here.)

That video followed an initial splurge of brown water in the bay on April 1 (see story here) and again on April 11 (see story here).

 

 

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Belzybob | 18 April 2016 - 19:26:42

"The samples collected today fly in the face of officials on Saturday (Apr 16) assuring that wastewater released by the Patong Municipality plant did not contribute to the problem of the Patong beachfront water turning brown."

So do they lose face for their incompetence? Send these officials back to the rubber plantations!

slippery snake | 18 April 2016 - 18:56:21

Yes not nice swimming in the brown water at all, I go right to the other end of the beach, it is OK there, or go to Kata beach, beautiful there..  It needs to be sorted out though, as it is not a very nice image of the main beach in Phuket... Patong beach could become known as Pong beach of not fixed soon.. haha, 

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