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Governor Maitree investigates the pollution at Phuket's Karon beach

Black Water Not So Risky, Says Governor

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Phuket News Analysis

PHUKET: Phuket's governor did not think the ''black'' water at Karon beach put anyone at risk, the local council asked the media to not make their stories too negative, and the village community leader who raised the alarm fumed today over the lack of serious solutions.

The tourists? They will most likely look at other destinations and make comparisons until the leaders of Phuket prove conclusively that the island's popular beaches are safe for swimming and environmental regulations are enforced.

Governor Maitree Intrusud visited Karon beach this morning in the wake of the latest reports of yet more needless pollution turning off tourists at one of Phuket's most popular beaches.

He splashed a little water on an arm but felt no urge to itch, had a sniff of the broad canal and reported no smell, then said it was ''clearly not a risk problem,'' despite the black color.

Efforts were made by the Karon municipality officials to have a negative story treated not with chemicals, but with a positive slant. Village community leader Winai Chidcheaw was having none of it.

''The canal was black yesterday and there was a very bad smell that is not quite so evident today,'' he said. ''These problems have been pointed out for a long time already. Residents would really like to see serious action taken.''

While not stripping off for a swim, Governor Maitree played down the color of the water and said it was not dangerous to the health of tourists, despite its color, according to recent official checks.

He said a three-point plan was proposed to address the issue:

.. the canal would be dredged wider, so the water could escape more quickly into the ocean.

.. checks would be made to make sure that all resorts had proper waste water control systems

.. once approved, the Karon municipality would spend 350 million baht upgrading its waste water system.

Phuketwan contends that a Phuket Beach Authority must be established to deal with all issues relating to Phuket's beaches before the local councils let the beaches degrade further.

No serious attempt is being made by the councils to preserve Phuket's most valuable natural assets. Within a few years, without serious environmental attention, the island's tourism future will be drastically reduced.

The problem will not come from a media reporting the truth, but from tourists who go home to tell their friends that Phuket is no longer a great swimming destination because the water is being allowed to turn ''black.''

If that happens, the governor and the Karon council will be the only ones swimming in it.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


"He splashed a little water on an arm but felt no urge to itch, had a sniff of the broad canal and reported no smell, then said it was ''clearly not a risk problem,'' despite the black color."

Amazing.... I laughing and crying at the same time...

Posted by Mr. K on February 25, 2014 16:39


He splashed a little water on an arm but felt no urge to itch, had a sniff of the broad canal and reported no smell, then said it was ''clearly not a risk problem,'' despite the black color.
Did he get a glass top it up and drink it did he swim in it Id say his primitive testing is far from scientifically conclusive

Posted by slickmelb on February 25, 2014 16:51


Karon, Phukets best beach to get a tan.

Posted by Manor on February 25, 2014 17:24


Regular water quality tests all along Phuket's coasts with results publishing publicly would be a starting point to improvement. The Governor saying things are not too bad or not risky is irrelevant (and based on no actual knowledge).

Posted by Duncan on February 26, 2014 00:03


Ask the government officials to drink some of that water. That's what we told them to do when they visited the polluted discharge area at the southern end of Naiharn beach.

Posted by Anonymous on February 26, 2014 10:03


The idea that water is tested 300 meters from the shore instead of 20 meters where everyone swims isn't logical.And that's where the black water first enters the ocean.

Posted by Anonymous on February 26, 2014 14:30


Let's do our own tests. Where's the lab that tests water samples? It can't be that expensive, and surely worth keeping one's kids out of harm.

Posted by peter rawai on February 27, 2014 16:35


@ peter rawai, that would probably land the testers in hot, er, water. It is illegal to publish anything which damages the image of Thailand. Just look at what happened to the "Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand." producers.

Posted by NomadJoe on March 1, 2014 20:04


damn, this is near the place i go swimming, while on phuket.
i know the exactly canal and beach place...

and youre right,i already told about that issue everybody of my friends who interested in thailand.
im back there in april, but i think i will make a week beach holiday in myanmar or an island far away of phuket :/

Posted by mr.T on March 2, 2014 17:36


Sounds like a very bhat problem.

Posted by WhoMe on March 8, 2014 19:50

Tuesday September 28, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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