Tourists warned not to swim in polluted sea off Pattaya
Tourists visiting Thailand’s Pattaya resort town have been advised not to swim in the sea, especially off the Na Chom Thian beach, after the sea in the area turned black and emitted a foul smell, reportedly caused by untreated waste water.
Pattaya City administration has issued an order temporarily suspending swimming in the sea near Pattaya until officials find the source of the effluent and fix the problem.
The move by the Pattaya City administration came after a netizen posted on his Facebook page an image of what appeared to be black waste water flowing into the sea through an open sewer in Soi Na Chom Thian 8, Tambon Na Chom Thian, Sattahip district of the eastern province of Chon Buri.
A Thai PBS reporter went to Soi Na Chom Thian 8 on Saturday afternoon to investigate and found that the polluted water came from an abandoned water treatment plant belonging to the Tambon Na Chom Thian municipality.
The water treatment facility was built at a cost of about 124 billion baht to treat waste water from hotels and other businesses. However, it malfunctioned after a short period in operation and was then abandoned due to lack of budget for maintenance.
A village headman, Mr. Supote Inyaem, told the reporter that the untreated waste water had been leaking into the sea for quite a long time without any authority addressing the problem.
Instead of fixing the problem, local officials issued regulations requiring business operators to install their own facilities to treat the waste water before it is discharged into the sea.
While advising tourists to avoid swimming in the sea, the Pattaya City administration has, so far, failed to come up with any concrete plan to address the pollution problem on long-term basis.