They also say that the water will turn back to its normal colour within a week.
Meanwhile, Patong Municipality have promised to complete an additional wastewater treatment facility within four months so people outside the municipality area can have their wastewater treated before it is released into the sea.
Phuket Vice Governor Khajornkiet Rakpanichmanee, Kathu District Chief Sayan Chanachaiyawong and Chief of Phuket Marine Office Surachai Buraphannontachai led a team of officials to visit Patong Beach today (Apr 16) after seeing aerial footage of brown water in Patong on a local community Facebook page, with the poster alleging the source of the brown water was the Patong wastewater treatment plant.
The post on Facebook yesterday (Apr 15) by user Tiar Tarnsiriroj shows aerial footage from Klong Bangpak leading to the Patong wastewater facility and then to Patong Beach where the wastewater is released.
After investigating the matter and taking water samples from Klong Bangpak, where the water is darker than other areas, and is the area where the treated wastewater and untreated wastewater from residential areas and businesses comes, V/Gov Khajornkiet said that the the picture was taken when plankton was blooming at Patong Beach causing the seawater to turn a brown colour.
He said that the colour change is temporary and will turn back to normal within a week.
“We have investigated the alleged Patong water pollution and found that the system to treat Patong wastewater is good. We believe the brown water is caused by plankton combined with organic wastewater substances coming from communities and businesses that do not have a wastewater treatment facility,” he said.
“There is about 20 per cent of non-treated wastewater being released into the canal and at this time of the year, when the temperature, air and the sun are right algae will flourish. Patong beach today is OK, the water level is normal and people are still swimming and playing in the water and coming to no harm. The quality of water is 10mg/litre which is not above the quality level.
“Officials at Patong Municipality have been advised to check wastewater treatment systems of businesses in the area and make sure that operators follow the regulations when dumping wastewater,” added V/Gov Khajonkiet.
Patong Deputy Mayor Banyong Kepsap added that the Patong wastewater treatment facility is able to store up to 23,5000 cubic metres of wastewater per day from the municipality area. However, her office has allocated a B125 million budget to expand the wastewater treatment facility so it can store an additional 9,000cbm per day.
“If the expansion is complete within ten years the facility will be able to store and treat more wastewater, and in 20 years will be able to store up to 40,000cbm/ of wastewater per day.
“Wastewater from communities outside of the treatment zone is about 20% and Patong Municipality is building a central treatment facility with a budget of B7.5 million which will be finish within four months and will help create a better environment for Patong,” she said.