Na Jomtien foot-dragging means beach sewage spills to continue

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Jirasak Suparos of the Na Jomtien Engineering Department and Deputy Mayor Pawitaravee Wijob discuss ways to help solve the problem.
Jirasak Suparos of the Na Jomtien Engineering Department and Deputy Mayor Pawitaravee Wijob discuss ways to help solve the problem.

There’s no end in sight to sewage spills on outer Jomtien Beach due to continued foot-dragging by Na Jomtien officials on linking pipes to Pattaya’s treatment plants.

Beachgoers and businesses along a stretch of outer Jomtien Beach from Soi 17 to the Pupen restaurant long have complained about black and smelly sewage fouling the beach and water there, leaving it unusable.

Black and smelly sewage flows out from under the Jomtien Beach Road into the sea.
Black and smelly sewage flows out from under the Jomtien Beach Road into the sea.

In April 2017 the problem became so bad the Pattaya Sanitation Department said it would funnel the sewage to Soi Wat Boonsamphan sewage-treatment plant if the sub-district linked its pipes to the city’s. It never did, despite another major sewage spill in February and again May 5-7.

Jirasak Suparos of the Na Jomtien Engineering Department said the spills occur after heavy rainstorms during which both seweage and rainwater flow into a large cesspool built under a road in Moo 1 village. The culvert overflows and sends wastewater into the sea.

The latest spill – and Na Jomtien’s refusal to fix the long-running problem – brought out officials from the Chonburi office of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment May 8.

Deputy Mayor Pawitaravee Wijob joined ministry officials, community leaders and soldiers to inspect the stricken area, but came away saying there’s nothing they can do right now and could not guarantee it wouldn’t happen again.

Na Jomtien doesn’t have a sewage treatment plant and has not even filed the required environment impact report to build one. Officials said the plan to link the sub-district’s sewage pipes to Pattaya is tied up in bureaucratic red tape and that the sewage spills occur due to normal flooding, not specific dumping by one business or residence.

The ugly mass of raw sewage covers the beach.
The ugly mass of raw sewage covers the beach.

Pawitaravee said the sub-district will more closely monitor the situation and look specifically for illegal dumping, but if the sewage spills occur during rainstorms, there was little that can be done for now.

Last week a meeting was held between Pattaya City and Na Jomtiem Municipalities where an agreement was reached to allow Na Jomtien to channel a limited amount of wastewater for treatment in Pattaya. This is for a limited period or until such time as Na Jomtien has constructed their own water treatment facilities.