Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong revealed the news yesterday (Feb 27) during an inspection of nearby Tri Trang Beach, where he was joined by a high-powered entourage of Phuket officials.
Joining the Governor were no less than Phuket Vice Governor Thawornwat Kongkaew, Natural and Environment Resources Phuket office Director Natawan Jamlongkard, Phuket Environmental Office Region 15 Director Dr Pornsri Suttanarak, Phuket Marine Office Chief Surat Sirisaiyat, Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup, lecturers from the Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, and others.
“Wastewater flowing onto Tri Trang Beach is a problem that needs to be urgently solved in order to prevent any effects that might damage Phuket’s tourism image,” Gov Norraphat said.
“This is the second time that we have inspected Tri Trang Beach; the first time was on Feb 11. The first time this area smelled of mud, but today it smells of rotten sewage.” he confirmed.
“At this stage we believe that the presence of wastewater at Tri Trang Beach is caused by many sources, such as untreated wasterwater flowing from Pak Bang canal, overflow from water-treatment systems in the area or business operators and communities directly releasing wastewater into natural water sources,” Gov Norraphat explained.
However, he added, “We do not believe that cruise ships travelling to Phuket are releasing wastewater here, but we have to carefully look into that.”
In order to urgently solve the problem, Patong Municipality will immediately submit a request for the budget to excavate sediment from Pak Bang Canal to create pools where sediment can be trapped in the water, Gov Norraphat explained.
“Electronic magnetic field innovation will be used to trap sediments and lipids in Pak Bang Canal,” he said.
“This is the best and quickest way. If this innovation is successful in solving the wastewater problem here, we can apply this in other areas in Phuket.”
Officials are now working to solve the problem island-wide as quickly as possible, Gov Norraphat assured.
“Officials are preparing a plan with about B200 million already allocated that will include wastewater-treatment systems throughout the province,” Gov Norraphat noted.
Hot on the heels of his promise to look into the possibility of cruise liners dumping raw sewage in the bay, after the inpsection of Tri Trang Beach Gov Norraphat and his entourage boarded the Chok Aree 7 motorboat to inspect a cruise ship at anchor in Patong Bay.
“We have ordered officials to strictly check tour cruises and not to let them release wastewater here,” Gov Norraphat said.
“Officials have to make sure that they have a good waste management that will not damage Phuket’s natural and environment resources,” he added.