As an immediate remedy, balls of Effective Microbes (EM) will be added to the klong to aid in the breaking down of sewage.
EM balls were used in underwater areas of Bangkok during the flood of 2010 as a way to ward off disease.
The balls will be used in conjunction with another biological remedy, Enzyme Ionic Plasma which, it is hoped, will also speed up the breaking down of sewage.
Rassada Municipality, whose area includes housing projects that are the source of the untreated waste, will also pump water from a nearby pond into the klong to attempt to speed up water flow, reducing areas of stagnation where sewage can gather and fester, such as in Sam Kong.
Yesterday’s meeting was chaired by Governor Maitree Intusut, and was attended, among others, by the President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor) Paiboon Upatising; Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwannasupapana; and Rassada Mayor Phudit Raksaraj.
Other remedies to be taken include dredging Klong Bang Yai, also to ease flow, though this will have to wait while permission is sought from private owners through whose land the klong flows.
Both the province and the OrBorJor pledged to commit money from their emergency funds to realise these plans.
In the long term, three waste water treatment plants will be built to clean up the sewage before it is released. A full system of sewers must also be built to connect these with homes, particularly in the Soi Paniang area, that are believed to be the main source of the stinking effluent now coming down through the klong.
The sewerage and treatment plants, it is estimated, will cost around B300 million.
Building this infrastructure will take time; Rassada will not have the budget for most of the work until 2015, and even then, planning and permits will take considerable time.
There is also the problem of land. Rassada Municipality does not have enough of it to accommodate the treatment plants, so it was proposed at the meeting that major local landowners be approached to donate the sites.
For now, along with the EM balls, an awareness campaign will be launched to teach people in the Soi Paniang area how to reduce the black water (sewage) and grey water (from kitchens and washing) they release into the klong.
Gov Maitree told those at the meeting, “We have to do [the awareness campaign] seriously to let people know that we are not ignoring or neglecting their problems.
“I myself will go to talk with the residents, and I would like to ask all of you to come with me.”