Quality testing will begin at Patong on Friday and continue every two months at popular beaches around Phuket, honorary consuls learned yesterday.
If enforcement follows findings of polluted seawater, the new tests could herald a change in attitudes and improved standards on the holiday island.
Phuket's media is being invited to join Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud at the southern end of Patong beach, near the outflow canal, from 9am in two days' time as tests are taken at Patong beach and a little further out.
The Director of the Phuket Environmental Office, Region 15, Dr Pornsri Suthanaruk, said today: ''We will have three longtails available for people to watch the testing.
''We want to make sure that Phuket's seawater is as clean as it can possibly be.''
It's believed Patong recently lost the chance to stage an international triathlon because of the quality of the seawater at the beach.
Action taken earlier this year by angry residents to force a local council to clean up a seaside canal in Bang Tao appears to be rolling on to communities around Phuket's holiday coastline.
The new tests, supervised by Dr Pornsri, who oversees the provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang and Satun, will be carried out every two months by staff from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre.
Results will be published online, Dr Pornsri told honorary consuls when she met them at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City yesterday.
German honorary consul Dirk Naumann has taken a keen interest in water quality since German television found seawater at Karon to be below standard two years ago.
He recently met with Dr Pornsri and told her that tests for the quality of water needed to be taken ''near the shore, where the children play.''
Until now, Phuket water quality tests have followed international standards, Dr Pornsri said, by taking samples 100 metres out and 500 metres out.
''Nobody swims 100 metres off Patong beach,'' Mr Naumann told yesterday's meeting. He was pleased when Dr Pornsri said that tests would now be made close to shore.
Seven Smulders, honorary consul for the Netherlands, said that the tests would be ''a great step forward'' and added that he hoped the information would be made avaialbe online to interested parties.
Norway's honorary consul, Pornphan Sittichaivijit, raised the issue of poor hygeine in the toilets at Phuket International Airport and the ''very aggressive'' unacceptable behavior of taxi drivers there.
She also asked whether the Tourist Police were going to restore use of the shelters for impoverished tourists in trouble. Two small rooms were built where people could sleep if necessary at the Phuket City headquarters.
''I think the shelter is a good idea,'' she said.
She added that there was an urgent need to educate people on Phuket to the need to make way for ambulances: ''Emergency vehicles are treated just like all other cars and something needs to be done about that.''
Governor Maitree, who has been reappointed for another year on Phuket, will hold another meeting of honorary consuls on November 26.
Phuketwan's reporter was ushered in to the meeting room by Governor Maitree before proceedings began yesterday. It's not clear why other media representatives were not given permission to stay.
All previous meetings of the Phuket honorary consuls had been open to the media.