Phuket officials respond to black water at beach

Black water in Karon, photo by PR Phuket.


Phuket officials have responded to the incident involving black water flowing into the sea at a beach. The black wastewater at Karon Beach near Nong Harn Lake came to officials’ attention on Sunday. A report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department said the water was “causing tourists to panic and run away from the sea.”

Officers from Karon Municipality arrived to inspect the site yesterday. The team included Karon Deputy Mayor Wanlop Nadon, along with the municipality’s head of Wastewater Treatment Works.

The report said that rain in the area usually washed away sediment in the channel coming from local public waterways. However, a key factor was that the channel had not been dredged for 10 years, according to the report. The report said this caused the water flowing into the sea to turn black, similar to wastewater. It said…

“Originally, the solution was to dredge the channel twice a year, but it was not possible to do so because the contractor had left the job due to bidding at a very low price, and was therefore unable to proceed according to the specified project.”

The municipality has now ordered the channel to be dredged as soon as possible.

Over 200 local business operators were also called to a meeting and told to strictly ensure their wastewater treatment systems were fully functioning according to correct standards, The Phuket News reported. Municipality officers will inspect businesses to ensure that they are complying.

If officers find violations, they will order businesses to suspend operations until they improve, the report warned.

Karon Municipality Public Works Chief Sanan Rakdam said that many restaurants near the municipality have been ordered to close until the renovations are completed and have passed the inspection. Only then will they be open for service, Sanan said.

The officers will also work to spread awareness among residents about sustainable environmental practices in accordance with the law. Sanan said…

“Even though the events that occurred this time have come from natural causes, we must admit that it greatly affects the tourism image of the area.”

Sanan added that the municipality will speed up short-term solutions and start making long-term plans with the relevant agencies in order to build confidence among the public and tourists, and to enhance the image of Karon being a “perfect natural tourism area.”

Residents who spotted the black water on Sunday claimed that it had been happening since Friday, and the foul water was being released from nearby businesses without any treatment.


Phuket residents are calling on authorities to investigate after foul-smelling black water was found flowing into the sea at a beach. On Sunday, residents and tourists were shocked to find lots of black water pouring into the sea at Karon Beach near Nong Harn Lake.

Swimmers rushed out of the sea after seeing the black water.

According to The Phuket Express, locals said that this was not the first time that foul water had been discovered flowing into the sea. Locals claim that it has been happening since Friday, and that the foul water is being released from nearby businesses without any treatment.

Foreign tourists expressed their disappointment, stating that such an occurrence should not happen in a tourist destination that attracts lots of beachgoers and swimmers.

Karon Beach is known for its fine white sand and colourful nightlife. Its location on the western coast of Phuket makes it a top destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

Phuket has experienced similar incidents in the past.

In May last year, a popular Facebook page posted a video and photos this week of black, dirty water flowing into Phuket’s Kamala Beach on the island’s west coast. The page, titled Monsoon Garbage Thailand, claimed that the dirty black water was released from nearby businesses without any treatment. The dirty water has been flowing along that klong for decades.

However, the Kamala Tambon Administrative Organisation Chief Jutha Dumlak said the black wastewater was left over in a “sand trap pool” in water drainage systems from the dry season. He said that since the rainy season was beginning, rain had started to wash out the leftover wastewater into the ocean. Jutha claimed that he had confirmed that the wastewater was not from businesses dumping garbage or waste. He also claimed that local authorities could not afford the budget to build a good wastewater treatment system.

Time will tell if Phuket authorities will one day tackle the island province’s problems with wastewater.

Environment News

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.