EnvironmentThailand

Dam contaminated with heavy metals in Chachoengsao

PHOTO: Thai PBS World

People living around a small dam in Khao Hin Sorn district of Chachoengsao, directly east of Bangkok, are being told to stop using water from the reservoir after it was discovered that it is contaminated with heavy metals.

Officials of the Royal Irrigation Department took water and soil samples from the Royally-initiated reservoir for tests, which revealed poisonous and high levels of copper, lead and zinc.

Somchai Prailin, irrigation chief of Chachoengsao province, said that people living around the reservoir must to stop using the water until it is deemed safe to drink, which may be several years. As a temporary measure to assist villagers water trucks are being arranged until a new water source can be sorted out.

Somchai added that the toxic waste found around the reservoir will be removed and sent to a waste treatment facility in Sa Kaew province. Meanwhile, Chachoengsao provincial industrial chief Mr. Kittipong Chalitthakul said that officials have been gathering evidence, including testimonies from villagers and results from water and soil sample tests, in their bid to identify who had been dumping untreated toxic waste in the vicinity of the water source.

Khao Hin Sorn police superintendent, Pol Col Chavarat Sasiwong, says there are several ways into the reservoir which trucks can use to dump waste, adding that there is no CCTV system at or around the dam.

One villager, Suchart Piew-iam, told Thai PBS that his family has been using water from the reservoir, which flows into a khlong in the village, on daily basis because it looks clean and clear.

“But lately my children have been suffering with rashes after bathing with water taken from the khlong”.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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