However, two weeks after being notified of the situation, and after carrying out several inspections of the area, the most recent being yesterday (Mar 15), officials are still none the wiser as to who is actually responsible for releasing the wastewater into the canal.
Speaking to The Phuket News yesterday, Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos said, “We must find out who is responsible for releasing this water into the canal. Once we have found out who is responsible they will have seven days to rectify the problem.
“If the water is coming from businesses such as restaurants, shops or hotels I will order them to stop their businesses and fine them according to the Municipality Act,” he said.
“This afternoon, technical officers from the Public Works Division began dredging the canal after coordinating with the Regional Environment Office 15 in Phuket.
“We will carry out further inspections of the area to find where this wastewater is coming from. This black water is affecting the environment and it is of great concern to us,” Mayor Aroon Added.
When asked if yesterday’s inspection was in the same area as that carried out on Mar 5, Mayor Aroon said, “I am not sure. I will check again.”
The putrid canal of black water emptying into Chalong Bay has gained the attention of officials in Rawai on Mar 1, with officials then stating they will hold the culprits accountable.
Photos of the canal provided to The Phuket News at that time showed fish dead in the water, presenting the ominous possibility that the level of contaminants in the polluted are killing fish and other marine life in the area.
Rawai Municipality councillor Sak Kiewdam led an inspection of the small canal, which empties in Chalong Bay little more than 700 metres south of Chalong Pier, on Mar 1. (See story here.)
On Mar 5, Acting Director of Rawai Municipality’s Public Health and Environment Division Surachet Jitmet confirmed to The Phuket News that the putrid canal that dumps black water into Chalong Bay will be dredged in an attempt to resolve the issue.
Mr Surachet said that after he learned the news about the black-water canal from The Phuket News on Mar 2, he went to investigate the area and the industries nearby. (See story here.)