Connect with us


Patong wastewater plant now open

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PATONG: The drive to keep Patong Bay free of seaweed in the upcoming high season took a big step forward with the opening of a new wastewater treatment plant on October 12.

The center, built by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Wastewater Management Authority (WMA), with 13 million baht from the Danish International Development Assistance (Danida) fund, uses a constructed wetland to filter wastewater before it flows into the sea.

WMA Director Sarawut Srisakuna explained, “After the tsunami we received a message from the Danish ambassador saying that he wanted to help us improve our wastewater treatment capability by using “subsurface wetland” technology developed in Denmark.

The WMA saw the opportunity to use land next to the existing sewage treatment plant to build a second treatment system in the hope of preventing the seaweed plague at Patong Beach during the past few high seasons, he said.

“Seventy percent of Patong’s wastewater can be treated by the old system, but the other 30% comes from Klong Pakbang and Klong Paklak. This water contains a high concentration of organic wastes and chemical substances, such as detergents and shampoo. These are nutrients the seaweed feeds on during the high season. Using the new plant we can treat much more of this water, which otherwise would flow into the bay untreated,” he said.

Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukbal said that the system is already working very well, but will take time to reach peak effectiveness at reducing the biological oxygen demand (BOD), a key indicator used to determine water quality calculated as milligrams of organic material per liter of water.

“The system is not yet 100 % effective because we must wait three months for the system to take full effect. Before we began using the system, the BOD value of the water dumped into the bay was measured at 40 mg/l. After the water first passed through the system, it was reduced to 3 mg/l. After three months it should go down to zero,” he said.

Moderately polluted rivers typically have a BOD range between 2 mg/l and 8 mg/l. Sewage is considered treated if it can be reduced to a BOD of 20 mg/l. Since this water flows directly into Patong Bay, the goal has been set at zero.

“This system is built to absorb phosphorus and nitrogen, which spur seaweed to grow in the bay. Small amounts of other chemicals might make it through, but it won’t be dangerous for people,” Chairat said.

Sarawut said, “The system will pump water from Pakbang and Paklak canals back to the station for treatment before it is released to the sea. The pumping system automatically turns off during high tide, when the seawater reaches the canal. It reactivates when the water level recedes.

“This system can treat about 1,000 to 1,200 cubic meters of waste a day, about 200 cubic meters an hour. We will set it based on the tide schedule to avoid taking in saltwater” he said.

While the system will have pumps, it will rely primarily on natural filtration, much like the one rainwater goes through before percolating into wells. It passes through increasingly small sediment layers before reaching the sea.

Danida offered its assistance to Thailand after the tsunami because of the large number of Danish citizens who visit and live in the country, but who were barred from donating money by the Thaksin government. Instead, they began devising ways they could assist in creating public works projects such as the water treatment center, he added.

“We received 13 million baht in support for the project from Denmark, which is also supplying an annual management budget of 500,000 baht for three years, a total of 1.5 million baht. During that time they will train Patong Municipality to take over system operations,” he said.

Danida has funded a similar system in Phang Nga, at a cost of 4 million baht, and is providing 28 million baht for a third system now under construction in the Phi Phi Islands.

“It is much more expensive [on Phi Phi] because we will have to ferry all the construction equipment to the island,” he said.

The project in Phang Nga has reduced BOD levels to less than 5 mg/l after three months.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand17 mins ago

Unemployed Bangkok chef arrested after allegedly trying to sell rare butterflies to undercover agents

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Phuket Covid-19: 1 Phuket Prison death, 1 Sandbox infection

Central Thailand2 hours ago

Bovine attack kills forest ranger in Khao Yai National Park

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand3 hours ago

Korat Police allegedly use police van for trip to beach

Thailand3 hours ago

Kalasin man allegedly robs convenience store and then a gold shop the next day before being arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Sunday Covid Update: 117 deaths and 13,576 new cases

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism20 hours ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Crime21 hours ago

Woman shot by stray gunfire during motorcycle shooting

Phuket22 hours ago

Phuket pair arrested in possession of meth pills, homemade gun

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Prayut to propose to CCSA to reopen theatres, allow filmmaking

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 UPDATE: Select provincial totals

Transport23 hours ago

Woman dresses as astronaut to show moon-like road condition

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

CCSA announces vaccination goals for October; 50% inoculated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Phuket Covid-19: 235 daily infections, 238 hospital beds available

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Saturday Covid Update: 122 Deaths 14,109 new infections

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11