On June 12, 2023, Mr. Samattapol Udomsilp, president of the Prachuap Tong Dee group in Prachuap Khiri Khan Municipality, embarked on an inspection of the wastewater discharge from the community onto the pristine beach of Prachuap Bay. To his dismay, he discovered that even after just 15 minutes of rain, the community’s wastewater was still flowing through the breakwater ridge and contaminating the famous tourist walking street near the Saran-way bridge, right in front of the municipal office. This perplexing situation persisted despite a court order in March 2023 mandating the closure of all drainage channels to prevent wastewater from infiltrating the beach.
Air Chief Marshal Seksan Chandra, the leader of the consumer protection network in Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan District and the prosecutor of the Administrative Court, disclosed that on March 23, 2023, the court had issued a crucial order aimed at temporarily halting the release of wastewater onto the beach. This order required the Prachuap Municipality to immediately close all overflow drainage points at the overflow dams and promptly repair the related equipment to address flooding concerns during heavy rainfall. However, despite the court’s order being in effect for over two months, no significant improvements have been observed in the wastewater discharge problem.
Compounding the issue further, the unabated flow of noxious community wastewater onto the beach, resembling a waterfall near the Saran-way bridge, has resulted in the erosion of the beach area. This has had a detrimental impact on the experience of tourists who frequent the beach for leisure activities, exercise, and to relish in the local street food scene. Moreover, the continuous release of wastewater has posed a grave threat to the delicate coastal ecosystems and the well-being of the inhabitants in the vicinity.
In response to this pressing matter, Prachuap Khiri Khan Municipality has taken swift action by installing a substantial water pump at the pumping plant on Su Suek Road, adjacent to the Prachuap Khiri Khan Provincial Court. The primary objective of this intervention is to redirect the water to the wastewater treatment pond and prevent any overflow onto the beach. The Wastewater Management Organization (AAC) has acknowledged the urgency of repairing the water pump and has assured that they are actively working on securing the necessary budget to address this critical issue. They also emphasized the pressing need for upgrading the current wastewater system, which has been in operation for more than 25 years, considering the continuous expansion of the community and the associated demands placed on the infrastructure.