Marine officials said water that blackened a stretch of Wong Amat Beach last month indeed was polluted with sewage, but had been diluted to non-hazardous levels.
Naklua’s storm-drainage system was unable to keep up with runoff from a heavy storm Feb. 17, causing sewers to back up. Pipes in the Wong Amat carry both storm runoff and sewage but, normally, the water filters to Pattaya’s waste-treatment plant.
Pattaya sanitation chief Anuwat Thongkum said, however, that water was pounded into drains at more than 100 millimeters an hour, more than double the pipes’ capacity. The water had to go somewhere and it ended up dumping onto the beach.
Department of Marine and Coastal Resources inspectors who visited the site confirmed the black stains on the beach were caused by residual sewage, but the wastewater had been diluted to the point where it was no longer hazardous, according to a report posted to the Pattaya Watchdog page on Facebook.
Anuwat said the pump station in Wong Amat is 20 years old and in need of an upgrade. Long-term plans call for the replacement of small pipes and new pumps.