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Patong official denies wastewater to blame for macro algae bloom along beachfront




A Patong official is denying that wastewater flowing into the beach’s bay is causing a large influx of algae, leading to mass amounts of red sea urchins being stranded on the shore. Nattawut Thepthon, Chief of the Patong Municipality Sanitary Works Division told The Phuket News that the appearance of sea urchins is a natural phenomenon.

But the chief of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre disagrees, saying the urchins are swarming the shore as they are attracted to algae. He says the algae blooms are the urchins’ food source and high tides during the spring season are adding to their increasing presence on the beaches.

He went further by saying the algae form directly from wastewater, refuting that it is a natural phenomenon. Nattawut says the wastewater has been treated, which would not spur the growth of algae. He went on to say that it is regularly tested for contaminants.

“We collect and test samples of the treated wastewater every week, and the result has shown that the water has passed the standard required for treated wastewater.”

“After the Covid-19 pandemic began, only a small amount of wastewater has been sent to our treatment plant, as we have only a small number of tourists. much smaller than normal.”

“As for many urchins being washed ashore, I have searched the internet to find out the cause of the phenomenon. The algae need nutrition, good weather and suitable sunlight to grow well. Right now, it is summer season, so there is good sunlight for the algae. For the nutrition, I believe that Patong Beach is on a closed bay which is full of food for algae. This is all my personal idea.”

But Nattawut did not voice concerns over the impact of untreated wastewater from homes and businesses flowing into the bay that are not connected to the municipality’s sewerage system.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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  1. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    There is only one way to deal with the problem. A ban on Thais using the toilet. The environment comes first.
    And the person who is the expert, and some say relishes, banning, is the Thai esteemed leader.
    P.M Prayut Chan o Cha Cha Cha.
    P.M Prayut do your duty . . .

  2. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Thai hotels have been sh*ting on their own door steps for decades.
    Their idea of being environmentally friendly starts and ends at putting a small notice in rooms about hanging your towel’s up to save them being washed daily.if you walk round the back of the manicured grounds you will see poorly camouflaged drainage channels clogged with plastic bags that are alive with mosquitoes and discharge pipes from the hotel putting grey water into the eco system.they do not give a stuff about anything but the bottom line as is demonstrated in this article.even when confronted with the facts from somebody who clearly knows what their on about they still deny it.

  3. Avatar


    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    and finally the genius arrives…

  4. Avatar


    Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 2:48 am

    I lived in Patong for many years and the Klongs ( Soi Nam Yen is a good example) were used for dumping rubbish by many locals, additionally there was a concern about businesses located on the banks doing likewise. Its been going on for years, any fool looking at the water can tell whats happening, it all then feeds into the sea at the southern end of the beach, such a shame.

  5. Avatar


    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 6:56 am

    Patong and Fuket in general is driven by greed and it’s not only Thais but equally foreigners with biz here. Add on top of it the exponential increase in crime rate, drug use, crazy/road rage drivers. If Fuket wants to attract hnw tourists something need to change and improve for the better.

  6. Avatar


    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Instead of taking the sunloungers off Patong beach the government should have taken over the operation and used the money collected to keep the beach clean and treat the wastewater being discharged into the bay.
    Thais would prefer to deny a situation exists rather than confront and fix it.
    I speak as someone who lived there for years and love the place.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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