The spill potentially exposes thousands of unsuspecting tourists at Phuket’s popular Patong Beach to the pollution.
Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup confirmed the news early this afternoon (Feb 9).
"I have been informed of wastewater leakage into the sea this afternoon from faults during the construction of the new waste water treatment tank (phase four)," Mayor Chalermluck told The Phuket News.
Officials are at the scene (see map below) working to rectify the problem as quickly as possible, Mayor Chalermluck said.
“I have already called the contractor and urged him to minimise the impact.
“I accept that while the construction is occurring, sometimes there will be effects to the sea from wastewater flowing out," she added.
"However, I am also urging the contractor to accelerate the work to be completed as soon as possible, by September this year before the monsoon season arrives, as we cannot work during the monsoon or rainy season," she said.
“Patong Beach has many tourists in the morning and evening. Therefore, the daytime is best to carry out the works because the tide is not high,” she said.
“We want to accelerate the wastewater treatment system to be complete as soon as possible in order to effectively treat water in the long-term,” said Mayor Chalermluck.
Only in December did Mayor Chalermluck announce that Patong’s wastewater treatment plant would be able to treat the volume of sewage in Patong during the current tourism high season as construction of new and larger wastewater treatment tanks had commenced in October.
The new wastewater treatment tanks are being built to replace three smaller old ones, which were built in 1989. (See story here.)
“There was some wastewater overflowing out of the current treatment plant during high season last year,” Mayor Chalermluck admitted in December. (See story here.)
“But this year we will use a temporary plan to prevent overflow of wastewater in this peak season until January next year,” she added.
Supakorn Meekaew, Head engineer at Patong Municipality’s Environment Division, reported last year that the upgrade to the Patong Watewater Treatment Plant was scheduled for completion in October 2019.