Water pipeline to Koh Larn nears decision phase

Friday, 29 August 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 35 By  Urasin Khantaraphan

Under discussion for more than two years, a plan to lay an undersea pipeline to bring potable water to Koh Larn finally is reaching the decision phase.

Eddy Young, a consultant for Kasetsart University’s Energy and Environmental Engineering Center, which was hired to do a feasibility study, outlined the third of three options being considered for the pipeline to bring 2,000 cu. meters of water a day to the island.

Pipe would run from the Banglamung water-treatment plant to the island over a distance of approximately 24.7 km. and includes installation of a main water meter for Koh Larn’s supply. The price tag for the project is 495.1 million baht.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh presides over a meeting to study the feasibility of laying undersea potable water pipes from the mainland to Koh Larn.Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh presides over a meeting to study the feasibility of laying undersea potable water pipes from the mainland to Koh Larn.

The project calls for pipe measuring 63 cm. in diameter and faces no real obstacles until the final 2.7 km, where the undersea pipeline would run into a coral reef. That will require an environmental impact study lasting six months, at least, Young said.

Less-expensive options revealed in earlier hearings include a pipeline, using 50 cm. pipe, from the Phothisamphan area to Koh Larn for 13.7 km. at a cost of 288.2 million baht; and another from the Thappraya area to Koh Larn, again using 50 cm. pipe, over 13 km. for 227.7 million baht. That also includes construction of a storage tank on the coast.

Koh Larn residents have been given surveys on what they prefer and a decision could be made at a hearing on the island next month.

Funding for the feasibility study was first apportioned in July 2012 using part of Pattaya’s 135 million baht Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration allocation for 2012. The 20 million baht research study was meant to assess the construction contacts, purchases, operation procedures and company search.

Water supply has been a growing problem as the popularity and population of the resort island grows. The city has an existing contract with the East Water Co. to run a desalinization plant on the island, but demand has outstripped supply, which currently stands at only 300 cu. meters a day.

To supplement that, Koh Larn contracts with the Navy to ship water to Na Baan Pier and residents have collected their own rainwater to keep for use during dry season.

Koh Larn is home to 489 households and now attracts about 2 million visitors a year.

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