Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks

Phuket Opinion: Failing the water quality test

PHUKET: The water at Patong Beach this week turned green again. This time they called it “seaweed”, just like they did more than 10 years ago.

opinionpatongtourismpollutionmarineenvironmentnatural-resourceshealth
By The Phuket News

Sunday 27 January 2019, 09:00AM


The annual ’bloom’ at Patong Beach this year was called ’seaweed’. Photo: Patong Municipality

The annual ’bloom’ at Patong Beach this year was called ’seaweed’. Photo: Patong Municipality

There was nothing any officials could do to disguise this week’s recurrence of the annual “bloom”, when there is no surly southwest monsoon to flush the bay out. There it was being washed ashore in a great mass for all to see.

Dr Jiraporn Charoenvattanaporn, a marine biologist who specialises in the study of phytoplankton diversity and red tide phenomena at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC), said plainly that the “seaweed” was pulled from its roots on the coastal seabed and washed up by strong waves. Only one problem with that: we’ve had no strong waves since Pabuk passed weeks ago.

There was no mention of algae, no mention of elevated levels of phospherous and nitrogen – as if to blind us with science that we don’t know what feces breaks down into once in water – and certainly no mention of the filthy Pak Bang Canal that runs through the town and empties into Patong Bay at the southern end of the beach, right where the “seaweed” was found.

Dear Dr Jiraporn, it’s not the seaweed that we’re worried about – it’s the state of the water that prompted the “seaweed” to flourish. In a country full of farmers, everyone knows what helps a plant to grow.

QSI International School Phuket

We do feel sorry for Dr Jiraporn though, to put her credentials publicly on the line for the sake of others who refuse to stand up and be held accountable for at least being honest. It is not her place to stand up and explain why untreated wastewater continues to flow.

To wit, Patong Municipality, the Pollution Control Department, the local Environment office, the Marine Department, Patong Municipality or even the mighty Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) all have NEVER confirmed that the raw untreated sewage from the canal – which most hotels in the busy tourist town dump into – no longer flows into the bay.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: World-class destinations have the same problems; it’s what they do about it that makes the difference. Only just last week Hawaii closed 10 beaches due to excessive bacteria found in the beach water there. That’s all it takes to actually do something about it: either having a conscience or a legally enforced duty of care.

We all know what is happening at Patong Beach and with all the hotels, guesthouses and other businesses that are dumping into the canal. Is just a modicum of honesty too much to ask for when confronting this issue?

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

GiGi | 27 January 2019 - 10:02:50

Well written article. Just do something about it otherwise it will be very damaging to Phuket’s livelihoods .

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket City Police now offering free haircuts, close shaves

Funny, RTP not up to standards to enforce traffic laws on phuket, due to laziness or incompetence, n...(Read More)


Chinese men use fake taxi ploy to kidnap, rob Chinese woman in Phuket

Agreed CJ69, if it were a real taxi driver the "investigation" would take one year and wou...(Read More)


Patong tuk-tuk drivers attack, kill motorbike taxi tout

Mob rule again- why are these guys so scared of ffighting one on one and why do others feel big abou...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

"monthly haircut" Great story ,i would call it : Baron Munchausen and his adventures in a ...(Read More)


Chinese men use fake taxi ploy to kidnap, rob Chinese woman in Phuket

"damage to the image of... taxi drivers" 555, that's a good one. If it were a real Tha...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Last week I had my monthly haircut for 150 thb. In next chair was a chinese tourist getting same hai...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Thai are good in marketing themselves, but many times bad in not delivering what they state/preach. ...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Despite all the discussion of what Thailand has done to make themselves look better to the Chinese.....(Read More)


Phuket light-rail budget B34.8bn for Phase 1 only, expected to jump 10%

Ben, they never bring in foreign experts to help with any major projects because it would make it mu...(Read More)


‘I only shot him to stop the attack’, says Patong tuk-tuk driver

Oh, so this Chartchai was just being a good citizen trying to protect tourists from this bad guy??? ...(Read More)