Is it too little too late for Phuket beaches?
Local administration officials in Phuket and Krabi provinces have been trying to tackle pollution problem in the sea at Ao Nang beach of Krabi and the sea at Traitrang beach in Pa Tong of Phuket.
Broken waste water treatment facilities have been blamed for the flow of untreated effluent from households and tourism-related establishments into the sea of both provinces which are popular destinations for both Thai and foreign tourists.
Mr Tossaporn Chotechuang, director of the environment unit of the Krabi’s Office of Natural Resources and Environment, said over the weekend that the office had sought permission from the Marine Department to build a new waste water treatment facility with 6.9 million baht budget approved by the Krabi provincial administration, but a permission has yet to be issued by the Marine Department.
He disclosed that two treatment tanks of the waste water treatment facility at Klong Chak which was operated by the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organisation had broken down, causing untreated waste water to flow into the klong and eventually into the sea at Ao Nang beach.
Meanwhile, Ms Chalermlak Kepsap, mayor of Pa Tong municipal, said that a new waste water treatment facility was under construction on the same location of the old one because the municipal could not find a new location for the facility.
Since part of the new facility was being built on the plot used as treatment ponds, it was inevitable that waste water which was already treated was released into the klong and eventually into the sea at Traitrang beach in Tambon Pa Tong, Krathu district.
She however said that officials had been sent to check whether the pollution was caused by effluent discharged from the treatment facility of from somewhere else.
A long stretch of the Traitrang beach has been blackened with the effluent which also emitted foul smell, driving away many tourists.