Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Phuket Opinion: Failing the water quality test

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.

MACNELS SHIPPING 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.

CAPTCHA

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
DSI hunts for nominees in Phuket tour boat inspections

...all that paper safety matters. Tour boat safety by looking for nominees. Laugh or cry?...(Read More)


DSI hunts for nominees in Phuket tour boat inspections

A change in Thailand about powering tourist boats is important. For safety 'sustainability' ...(Read More)


Eva Air to launch direct flights to Phuket

Gerry, you made me laugh about your ...until the final outcome... remark. That can take looooong t...(Read More)


Children in need: Police put children first in crackdown on late-night street hawking

Beside the Karon police station at the beach road in Karon is a cluster of 5 fish restaurants. popul...(Read More)


Fishermen receive reward for discovery of turtle egg nests as part of new preservation project

The Fishermen should also be awarded with a free Chinese Meal complete with Oceanic White Tip Sharks...(Read More)


DSI hunts for nominees in Phuket tour boat inspections

All gasoline powered tourist / passenger carrying vessels are deadly. A diesel powered vessel is a s...(Read More)


DSI hunts for nominees in Phuket tour boat inspections

@Facinated. If you go to the Thailand BOI website, lists "Advantages", well, maybe they sh...(Read More)


DSI hunts for nominees in Phuket tour boat inspections

@GJCS. I have been a Commercial Seafarer since 1978. My CV is 64 pages long & only 12 of printed...(Read More)


Eva Air to launch direct flights to Phuket

I was not talking about illegal Burmese immigrants. These people can be very well legal in Thailand....(Read More)


Eva Air to launch direct flights to Phuket

...published how much everyone will get finally.Better to stop whinging until you know the final out...(Read More)