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.

Laguna Golf 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
Rawai targets criminals, rogue drivers with B17mn CCTV camera project

Camera systems are fine, but you have to watch them 24 hours a day in control centres like they do i...(Read More)


Patong police net 13 suspects during Hi-Lo gambling raid

Problem with local Officialdom is they make a big poe-ha about small issues. The real big issues the...(Read More)


Rawai targets criminals, rogue drivers with B17mn CCTV camera project

Yup, real sufficient big speed bumps that can make they not drive faster than 50kmh in order to avo...(Read More)


Free legal service project on hold as ‘volunteer lawyers’ wait for budget

I remember that Patong police station did sack all the foreign tourist volunteer police who were spe...(Read More)


Free legal service project on hold as ‘volunteer lawyers’ wait for budget

Silly me, when I read the first article I thought that these guys were actually volunteering their s...(Read More)


Patong police net 13 suspects during Hi-Lo gambling raid

"The laugh stock of the month" Actually this price is reserved for you,every month. Luckil...(Read More)


Video highlights animal cruelty at Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo

This National Geographic article will hopefully shame Thai authorities into doing something about th...(Read More)


Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

That's already Fast and Furious everyday on Phuket Roads !! We won't even be able to notice...(Read More)


Rawai targets criminals, rogue drivers with B17mn CCTV camera project

Just install speed bumps in the underpass and no one can drive over 50. Do the same on rawai beach r...(Read More)


Patong police net 13 suspects during Hi-Lo gambling raid

If you like yourself as RTP , wow, in a joined operation (!), make yourself the laugh stock of the ...(Read More)