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Wastewater pouring onto Phuket beaches comes under fire, again

Wastewater pouring onto Phuket beaches comes under fire, again

PHUKET: Following an outbreak of criticism online in response to a video showing wastewater pouring onto Bang Tao Beach, officials yesterday (May 11) inspected the recently installed wastewater system and collected water samples to test for contaminants.

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By The Phuket News

Sunday 12 May 2019, 01:01PM


The initial investigation into the complaints, which included the water spilling onto the beach carrying a a foul smell, was carried out by officers from the Damrongtham Center (Ombudsman’s Office), Thalang District Office and Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) as well as local village headmen and local residents.

Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana arrived at 5:30pm to inspect the facilities in person, and ordered for urgent steps to be taken to prevent any more foul water pouring onto the beach.

“This problem affects the beautiful image of our tourist city (sic). We need to urgently find a way to solve this problem to alleviate the suffering of the people who are being affected by the pollution,” he said.

After decades of foul untreated wastewater pouring onto Bang Tao and Surin beaches, Cherng Talay OrBorTor made history in March this year with the first two wastewater treatment plants in the area brought online under a project costing B355 million.

However, even Cherng Talay OrBorTor Chief MaAnn Samran admitted to The Phuket News that the wastewater treatment plants will only be as effective as the sewer network that delivers the untreated wastewater to them.

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Sewers installed in Cherng Talay Moo 2 and Moo 5 will feed the Bang Tao station, while the waste pipes laid throughout Moo 3 will feed the Surin Beach plant. Other areas where sewers are still being installed will still result in untreated wastewater finding its way into the canal and onto the beach, he said. (See story here.)

Following in Cherng Talay’s footsteps, the Kamala OrBorTor also has its first wastewater treatment plant currently under construction while struggling to deal with foul black wastewater pouring onto the beach, and into the beach water where tourists swim there.

Recognised by those officials there is that the fact that heavy rains result in a much larger volume of water to be treated, meaning any excess runoff of untreated wastewater will continue to flow onto the beach as it has always done. (See stories here and here.)

The move to install the wastewater treatment plants aims to bring that ugly chapter of polluting Phuket’s main tourist beaches to end. However, as evidenced this week, it continues.

Meanwhile, water samples were collected from an outflow pipe onto Bang Tao Beach yesterday. Officials expected to have the results on comprehensive tests on those water samples in five to seven days.

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Timothy | 14 May 2019 - 09:06:29

Ben/Rorri, I agree 100%. The sewage"system" they have now is just concrete troughs with open grates. These collect sewage and rainwater and flush to the sea. They actually think these stinky troughs are a good idea. They are  building more open sewage/drainage all over the island. No closed sanitary water system at all. Smart City Phuket .04 Pearl of the Andaman. Hub hub...Blah blah. 

BenPendejo | 14 May 2019 - 00:22:37

Rorri is correct, there should be separate storm drains which are designed to carry nothing but surface runoff (rain). Then there are sewer lines, which every hotel and business (and house) should be connected to, which carry sewage and process wastewater to a proper water treatment facility.  Thai officials are clueless, and this filthy polluted water will be the death of tourism in Phuket

Timothy | 13 May 2019 - 08:22:45

Over 11 million US spent on a concrete box that isn't even connected to anything. We all know that the waste is coming from the klong which IS the ONLY sewer. They would have to treat all the water coming from the klongs. Why put those beautiful concrete sewer pipes right on the beach? Wasn't enough in that modest little budget to run them to the sea to hide their incompetence? 

Rorri_2 | 13 May 2019 - 06:16:58

sewage lines should be separated to rainwater drains... poor understanding, poor infrastructure.... lest,s face it, they have no idea.

megamind | 13 May 2019 - 01:49:02

Meanwhile, water samples ...... on comprehensive tests on those water samples in five to seven days. Test results that NONE will see. like it happens since many years about all the beaches of Phuket: try to guess why !!

Fascinated | 13 May 2019 - 00:10:55

Summed up as lies, lies and MORE lies.

Kurt | 12 May 2019 - 19:32:49

Anyone believe thai check on water contamination? That is complete passed fake station! Thai Officials lost credibility. Only trust water checks done by Singapore, British, German firms. Staring thai 'officials'  from Thalang, Cherng Talay, and local village headmen, they are just a joke. Joke for already many years to be precise. No skills, no knowledge to handle this. Just bla bla.

Kurt | 12 May 2019 - 16:21:58

Officials are 'hoping'. Is the time of talks and hoping not yet over for these kid officials? Is there any official educated enough to handle this simple environment matter? Make sure that the polluting and toxic water are not released at tourist beaches? What is this impotent 'hoping' nonsense? When are they going to handle this literarily sh.t release in tourist swimming water?

BenPendejo | 12 May 2019 - 14:39:50

I can't wait to hear about how the water tests show "everything OK".  Kamala, Surin and BangTao "treatment" systems, all are poorly planned with inadequate capacity, especially with heavy rain...which will simply purge all the crap in all the systems out to the beach. They were also placed in terrible locations so the discharges affect hotels, parks and tourist areas. ...po...

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