Construction of Kamala’s first wastewater-treatment plant began this week, with the B58 million (SGD 2.5 million) facility scheduled for completion by February next year. The news comes after another week of black wastewater from Pak Bang Canal at the southern end of Kamala fouling the water at the popular tourist beach.
As an immediate response to the black wastewater, officials from Kamala Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) had the rancid sludge dredged from the bottom of the canal and had EM (effective micro-organism) balls dumped into the murky water.
“We will keep doing this to make the water quality better, so the water smells better and becomes clearer,” said Nopporn Karuna, Kamala OrBorTor Deputy Chief.
The use of EM balls will cease this Friday, when an ozone-generator water-treatment machine comes online, Mr Nopporn told The Phuket News.
“We looked at the ozone-treatment system installed in Cherng Talay and we believe that after we start treating the water in the canal with ozone, the water in the canal will be clean in two months,” Mr Nopporn said.
Southern Thai Consulting has been hired to install and operate the ozone water-treatment system under a budget of B495,000 (SGD 21 thousand, Mr Nopporn added.
“The contract is to operate the ozone machine for just two months. After that we will see how the results go, and if it is working well, we will look to extend the contract further,” Mr Nopporn explained.
“The water quality will be checked by laboratory tests,” he added.
However, the big leap forward for Kamala in having wastewater treated before being released into the sea at the popular beach is the construction of a 58-million-baht plant at Chalermprakiat Park.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Nopporn explained.
“We hired DBT Engineering Co Ltd and Mcon International Corp Ltd for the construction. The contract started on Feb 4, 2019 and the terms stipulate for construction to be completed by 4 February 2020,” he said.
The piling began last week under a separate contract that started on Feb 27 and expires on Mar 23, he added.
“When the construction is finished, we will hire another company to operate the plant. Now we still looking for a suitable company,” Mr Nopporn said.
“The system will treat all the wastewater that flows through Pak Bang Canal. The machine will suck water from the canal and treat it before it is released at the beach,” he explained.
“The system will be able to treat up to 1,000 cubic metres of water per day, which will be enough for the dry season, but when the heavy rains come the extra water flowing through the canal may mean that not all the wastewater will be treated before being released,’ Mr Nopporn admitted.
However, he added that plans for future expansion of the plant were already being considered.
Mr Nopporn blamed small hotels, shops and restaurants near the canal for releasing untreated wastewater in the waterway.
“Kamala OrBorTor officials started checking all the small businesses along the canal and found three that did not have wastewater-treatment systems installed,” he said.
“We have given them a chance to fix this and install wastewater systems. We have given them a deadline, and if they can’t make that deadline, we will order their businesses closed and have the business licences revoked.
“We will also fine them. Depending on the charges levied, the maximum fine can be up to B20,000 (SGD 856) per day,” Mr Nopporn said.