High tides this week threaten tap water quality in Bangkok and suburbs

Photo from Office of the National Water Resources

Tides are forecast to peak between January 8th and 15th, which may increase the salinity of tap water in Bangkok and its suburbs, according to Mr. Somkiat Prajamwong, secretary-general of the National Water Resources Office (NWRO) on Monday, following a meeting to address the problem of seawater intrusion into the Chao Phraya River.

He said that water from the Bhumibol reservoir, in the northern province of Tak, and the Sirikit reservoir in Uttradit, will be fed into the Chao Phraya River through a network of smaller waterways and canals, such as the Mae Klong and Tha Chine rivers, Khlong Jorakhae Samphan and Khlong Phraya Banlue, to resist the seawater intrusion.

Meanwhile, Mr. Somsak Passananont, director of the Water Resources and Environment at the Metropolitan Waterworks Department, said today that production of tap water has not been affected by high tides, as the salinity of the water at Samlae pumping station in Pathum Thani province was recently measured at 0.3 grams/litre, still below the 0.50 gram/litre benchmark level.

The MWA sources its water for tap water processing from the Chao Phraya, which is experiencing seawater intrusion, and from Mae Klong River, which is unaffected.

According to the NWRO, salinity level at Samlae water pumping station peaked to 2.19 gram/litre on December 28th, the highest so far.  Records since 2010 show:

  • 1.10g/l on May 17th, 2010
  • 1.92g/l on February 15th, 2014
  • 1.09g/l on July 18th, 2015
  • 0.87g/l on May 27th, 2016
  • 2.19g/l on December 28th, 2019


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