Phuket confirms inability to treat wastewater

Phuket: The National Office of Water Resources (ONWR) Secretary-General Dr Surasee Kittimonthon has revealed that Phuket has been unable to handle the nearly 55,000 cubic meters of wastewater that the island generates every day.

Dr Surasee concluded a two-day visit to Phuket yesterday (September 5) with inspections and a pledge to take action to meet Phuket’s water management needs, including addressing recurring flooding issues and addressing Phuket’s water management needs. Water shortage problem during any drought in Jiji Island. future.

Dr. Surasee inspected the Patong City Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Patong Deputy Mayor Sanakorn Keesin explained that since its opening in 1989, the plant has expanded to a capacity of 2,250 cubic meters of wastewater per day. Today, the plant covers an area of ​​9 square kilometers and can treat 39,000 cubic meters of sewage every day.

Deputy Mayor Sanakon said further expansion would require a high budget.

“Currently it is a water quality improvement plant. Therefore, it is necessary to gradually expand and build the wastewater collection system, and take measures to solve the problem of water shortage, using the treated water to produce RO water (reverse osmosis purified water) and distribute it to the people. Public and institutions in the Patong area,” Deputy Mayor Sanakorn said.

However, many of the official reports on Dr Surasi’s visit yesterday did not confirm how much wastewater Patong produces every day, which needs to be treated before being discharged into local waters.

Dr Surasee yesterday witnessed untreated dark wastewater flowing into the Pak Bang Canal, which runs through central Patong and flows into the river mouth at the southern end of the town. The estuary then flows into Patong Bay, where Dr Surasi saw tourists playing in the water yesterday despite the bad weather.

Dr Surasi said Patong’s “water quality improvement plant” had shown positive signs and could serve as a model for other places, according to official reports.

“There is good management. Since Patong Beach is an important tourist attraction in Phuket and Thailand, it is considered one of the prototype areas that can be used to extend the results to resource management related institutions. There is rapid growth every year. This leads to It has solved the problem of worsening water pollution,” he said.

Phuket’s water hazards, including floods and droughts, are largely attributable to the city’s rapid expansion and the large number of tourists who visit the island each year.

“Phuket is an important province for tourism and part of the national economic stimulus plan. But in terms of the current state of the area and the potential of water resources, there is still a water shortage problem every year.”

“The total annual water shortage in all aspects amounts to 25.54 million cubic meters. Most of the canals also have flooding problems. Due to the geographical conditions in certain periods as a bottleneck, the water overflows the embankment, resulting in a reduction in drainage until the accumulated water overflows the embankment. This includes barriers to water flowing into the sea. These are factors that lead to frequent flooding in the area,” he added.

“In addition, Phuket is also a destination for Thai and foreign tourists. Many tourists come here in large numbers, making Phuket’s urban sprawl increase steadily and extend to farmland in the upstream area.

“As a result, the forest area has decreased. It was found that the Srisoonthorn area had the highest soil loss severity at 2,082 tons per year, followed by Tambon Kathu with an average soil loss severity of 2,015 tons per year,” said Dr Surisee.

“What’s more, water quality problems still exist. Most of the wastewater comes from community water sources and service places, which generate a total of 149,917 cubic meters of wastewater per day, while Phuket’s community wastewater treatment system can only treat 94,961 cubic meters of wastewater per day. “

A total of 54,956 cubic meters of untreated wastewater is produced in Phuket every day.

“In order to achieve water resource resolution in the Phuket area, systemic integration at the upstream, midstream and downstream levels is required,” said Dr Surisee.

“ONWR has launched a project to study an integrated master plan for flood and drought protection in specific areas of Phuket, based on the integrated water management approach of the 20-year water resource management master plan,” he added.

“If the project is completed, it will increase the amount of water available to the people of Phuket to approximately 60.53 million cubic meters per year. Wastewater treatment capacity will increase to 4.96 million cubic meters per year,” said Dr Surisee.

During his visit, Dr Surisi also inspected the weirs built on top of Kathu Waterfall and heard about water conservation measures such as installing water meters to regulate showers.

“We want to use less water. This approach has worked in other countries,” he said.

Regardless of Phuket’s current water management capabilities, Dr. Surisi assured that the government is prepared and that “El Niño will not affect Phuket”.

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