Water diverted from Tha Chine to Chao Phraya River to flush out seawater
The Royal Irrigation Department has started diverting water from the Tha Chine River, in Nakhon Pathom province, into the Chao Phraya River through the Phraya Banlue irrigation canal to flush out seawater.
The department is also seeking cooperation from farmers, living along Phraya Banlue canal, to stop pumping water out of the canal to feed their crops on January 13th and 14th, when tides are predicted to peak.
Powered boats have been deployed at 14 locations in the 42-km long canal accelerate the flow of the water into the Chao Phraya, after tests taken from the river yesterday showed salinity at one gram/litre.
However, the salinity at Samlae pumping station in Pathum Thani, where water is drawn to feed tap water treatment plants, was measured at 0.48 grams/litre this afternoon, compared to the standard level of 0.25 grams/litre.
Metropolitan Waterworks Authority governor Prinya Yamasanit has assured the public that the authority will keep producing tap water throughout the long hot summer, but will stop pumping water from the Chao Phraya River during high tides.
Meanwhile, all state-run hospitals have been instructed by the Public Health Ministry to survey their water tanks, to secure alternative water sources and to work out water conservation measures.
Initial reports show that, out of 310 hospitals in 49 provinces, eight of them may not have enough water to last through the 6-month summer.
The ministry has asked the public not to panic over salty tap water, saying that the increase of sodium will not have harmful effects on their health.
If the public are not sure that the drinking water is safe, they should boil it first.