Actual construction of the plant began last month, with the government contract – dated Dec 19, 2017– stipulating that the project must be completed within 300 days – by Oct 15, 2018.
“The wastewater-treatment system project aims to solve the problem of wastewater from households, small restaurants and coin-operated washing machines (that is currently flowing) into canals (in the area),” said Kittipong Taktam Rawai Municipality Division of Public Works.
The project, titled the “Small Community Wastewater Treatment System Project in Rawai”, has been in motion already for a year, said Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos.
“Rawai Municipality and the Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) agreed on providing a wastewater-treatment system and management (for the Nai Harn Lake area) on Feb 9, 2017,” he told The Phuket News.
“Rawai Municipality then asked the Phuket Muang District Office for permission to use the public land to construct wastewater-treatment plant on Sept 27, 2017.” he added.
Construction of the project is being carried out by D.B.T. Engineering Co Ltd and MCON International Corp under a B35.3-million government contract offered by the WMA, which operates under Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).
The plant itself will measure 30 metres by 50m and include a reinforced concrete pool as well as an office building and a control system, Mayor Aroon explained.
“The wastewater-treatment system will be able to treat 600 cubic meters of wastewater a day,” he added.
“It is a small system that fits the limited space (available), and is of a type used in a city or narrow area within a community,” explained WMA engineer Natthawoot Pantupan.
“We do not have enough space to install a big system and people in the area do not want a large facility because they’re afraid of bad smells in the air – so we adapted our plans to suit people’s needs,” he said.
In light of local people’s concerns, the type of water-treatment system chosen is an “FBR system” – also known as an “Fluidized” or “Flotation” Bed Reactor – noted Mr Natthawoot.
“As it is an FBR system, it will be underground and creates no sound and no smell,” he said.
“For the surface above the plant, the municipality can design whether it will be a park or activity court, so people can come and use the area,” he added.
“This system will treat wastewater until it reaches the standard of Pollution Control Department. After that, the municipality can reuse water or release it into the lake,” Mr Natthawoot assured.
Nai Harn Lake, located right beside the tourist-popular Nai Harn Beach, for years has served as a recreation and picnic area for the local community and features a children's playground built by Rawai Municipality.
The lake has a natural runoff canal that empties into the sea by flowing openly across the southern end of Nai Harn Beach.
– Jirarat Rakjamroon