Wastewater the source of rancid water on Phuket beach

PHUKET: The stinky, black water that blighted Karon Beach last month is the product of a faulty wastewater treatment system, Karon Village Chief (Kamnan) Winai Chidchiew revealed yesterday.

Canals blocked by huge berms of soil and broken water pumps are the chief culprits, as they prevent water from being pumped from canals to treatment plants and cause more wastewater than normal to reach the last pumping station before the beach, Kamnan Winai explained.

“The Wiset Road Pump Station can’t handle all the water, and it overflows into the Nong Han Canal, producing the black sediment that flowed last month onto the beach,” Kamnan Winai said.

Wastewater that is not piped directly to treatment plants flows through a system of canals that lead to the sea. In theory, as the water flows by a series of water pumps within the canals, it is pumped up and sent to water treatment plants.

“However, some of the pumps are broken,” Kanman Winai said, noting that in some cases residents have paid to have the water pumped in order to dissipate the rancid smell.

In other areas, large deposits of soil and sediment in the canal – some with high tufts of wild grass growing on them – are blocking the flow of water.

“The deposits block water from reaching the pumps, and furthermore, when it’s high tide, the sea is blocked from entering the canal to mix with the water and dilute it,” he said.

Officials who investigated last month’s black water said that the water was clean and not harmful, identifying it only as sediment that had been stirred up in the Nong Han Canal (story here).

Kamnan Winai expressed concern that the problem would not be fixed quickly enough.

“We can’t resolve it until we get the money, maybe next year, which means Karon will face a black water phenomenon again.”

— Saran Mitrarat

Phuket News

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