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The Phuket stars system reveals a 'bad' yellow for Patong

Patong, Rawai Fail Phuket's Clean Beach Tests

Friday, September 18, 2009
Phuket Beach Charts: Album Above

SURVEYS of water quality at Phuket beaches shows that Patong and Rawai have pollution problems, with most other beaches relatively clean.

While any pollution is unacceptable, there is no danger to the health of swimmers. The water at 14 beaches is sampled and tested six times a year by the Environment Office of Phuket.

The Marine Biology Centre also does a survey six times a year at 23 beaches. Looking at charts for the past three years, with a star system indicating which beach waters are clean and which have bacteria, Phuket looks remarkably healthy.

Blue and green stars mostly cover the six survey taken annually at 23 beaches by the centre. There are a few yellow ''bad'' stars in the charts for 2007 and 2006, but none for 2008. The charts contain no ''very bad'' red stars.

''The quality of the water off Phuket is not good enough,'' said marine biologist Dr Somkiat Khokiattiwong. ''Patong, for example, has too much bad water running into the bay.''

The Environment Office survey of 14 beaches records total coliform bacteria articles and total suspended solids.

The latest survey was taken in May, at points 1000 metres off the beaches. Environment Office researcher Nattakid Ponped said the standard acceptable measure of total caliform bacteria was 1000.

Here are the measuring for Phuket's beaches, with the ratings in brackets. Measurements are taken at up to four points.

At some beaches, there are radical differences in pollution levels, indicating pollution intensifies with runoffs:

Patong (17,000, 7800, 7800, 4500) Rawai (13,000, 79, 49, 1.8) Karon (4, 17, 330) Kata (7.8, 1.8, 13) Kata Noi (1.8, 1.8) Nai Harn (2, 1.8, 7.8) Laem Singh (1.8, 23) Mai Kao (7.8, 7.8, 4500) Koh Naka, off Phuket's east coast (4.5, 1.8, 1.8) Koh He (7.8, 7.8, 1.8) Koh Racha, Pabpla beach (1.8, 2.0, 1.8, 1.8) Layan beach (21, 21, 11) Ao Por (6.8, 6.4, 79) ThaLa beach, Paklok (2.0, 2.0).

High figures for Patong and Rawai are attributed to canals (klongs).

Total suspended solids:

Patong (12.25, 12.50, 12.00, 12.00) Rawai (4.50, 6.25, 6.25, 12.50) Karon (10.00, 15.00, 5.75) Kata (15.25, 15.75, 5.00) Kata Noi (6.00, 6.00) Nai Harn (6.75, 5.50, 4.75) Laem Singh (3.00, 4.25) Mai Kao (14.75, 14.75, 4.75) Koh Naka, off Phuket's east coast (7.75, 7.00, 9.75) Koh He (1.25, 1.25, 3.25) Koh Racha, Pabpla beach (28.00, 28.50, 28.25, 28.25) Layan beach (15.50, 15.50, 20.50) Ao Por (9.75, 7.50, 9.25) ThaLa beach, Paklok (11.50, 18.75).

The high figure for Koh Racha is attributed to the number of speedboats that moor on the beach.

Dr Somkiat said Patong's pollution problems were based on the number of people who use the beach and the ''frying pan'' nature of the bay, which did not allow water to be refreshed from the sea as easily as at other Phuket beaches.

The centre and the department presented figures this week to a committee examining water quality. Surveys are likely to be combined in future to save costs.

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


They need to do this survey during high season when the island is packed. Some beachside hotels, even some of the most expensive and exclusive, flush their toilets and waste water straight into the sea. One year it was so bad that there was a 30 mile long "red/green" tide along the whole west coast. Ear infections for swimmers are a common ailment (just ask the pharmacies).

Posted by James on September 19, 2009 06:53


So who is flushing their toilets right into the sea?

Posted by vfaye on September 19, 2009 09:47


Why are we not getting any water again, one week strait. In the past we will only get water for short periods of time, sometime only a couple of hours a day, sometimes no water for two or three days. no water! but now no water five days! its not even high season yet. What happens then, weeks or months no water?. $350 baht for 1500 liters every three or four days!!!! why, why, why!!! who do you have to pay off to get something done in Patong why would anyone want to come to Phuket to do business. The PWW is useless, you cant get any answers to why, and how to get this problem fixed. Do i need to bribe the people in charge! What good is Phuket Provincial Waterworks (PWW) all you will get is the "run around", and no results. I thought of phuket as a Dream place, now i think of it as a nightmare. Can someone please fix this problem on Nanai Song Rd patong. We need water now, not once a week for an hour or two.

Posted by Steve Gellepes on October 7, 2009 11:07


I'm not trying to be funny here. Seriously, is it possible for one person, or a small group, to be able to afford periodic testing of four or five beach water samples on a weekly or monthly basis, for obvious contaminant indicators like e.coli?

I'm thinking, testing and posting water quality needn't be such a rare thing, and would highlight the thus-far too hidden piping of effluent from hotels, etc. directly into nearby beachwater.

Just as Woody Leonhard's computer clinic group monitors Internet speeds island-wide and posts them on the Internet for all to see, a group of concerned expats might easily afford to test water quality off the most popular beaches, and post that info on the web.

Posted by Tired of the act on November 26, 2010 20:20

Tuesday June 28, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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