Patong Bay water sent to Bangkok for testing

PHUKET: Officials have recently collected samples of water in Patong Bay and sent them to Bangkok to determine whether it is pollution or algae that has caused the sea water to turn brown.

Akkarawat Hirunphun, an environmental specialist in the Phuket-based Regional Environmental Office, and his staff inspected the green-brown water along the Patong coast (story here) for contamination.

“We took water samples from four locations – one sample each from the north and south of the Patong wastewater treatment plant; one from Klong Pak Bang; and one from Patong Bay, about 100 meters from the coast,” said Mr Akkarawat. “Getting the results should take about 10 days.”

Officials insist the change in water color is due to an annual algae bloom. However, many local residents believe that the sudden, explosive growth (‘bloom’) in algae has occurred as the result of large accumulations of human waste contamination from a canal at the south end of the beach.

“Although algae is not dangerous for swimming, we have to wait for the results to determine whether swimming in Patong Beach is dangerous or not,” Mr Akkarawat added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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