Nah, these are not exactly breaking news but rather the stuff you always knew anyway: According to latest test results conducted by the Pollution Control Department and the Regional Environmental Office in Chonburi, the sea water quality at the coast of Pattaya is what we always knew it was – that is relatively poor.
The good news: Swimming in the sea off Pattaya won’t kill you and will likely not have an impact on your health. On the other hand, it probably won’t do much to enhance your holiday experience either.
To make things even worse: Instead of getting better and profiting from advanced water treatment technologies, the sea water quality in Pattaya, most likely due to an ever-increasing influx of tourists and residents (i.e. water users), has actually deteriorated over the past few years. But sure, these are hardly news either.
To be fair, the test results weren’t all bad. While they found that the water quality near Naklua, South Pattaya, Jomtien Beach and Koh Larn was actually “fairly good” (nothing more, nothing less), only the central Pattaya beach got an outright “poor” grade.
Local authorities blame this crushing assessment mostly on failed water treatment and waste management, with waste disposal and inefficient water treatment systems contributing to the poor sea water quality.
As a result, the Pattaya city bosses have now come up with “some [obviously long overdue] plans” to reduce sea water pollution in the area. Let’s hope it’s not just paying lip service and a form of “saving face”.
According to the Bangkok Post, these plans include the construction of a fully new waste management plant in East Pattaya as well as expanding and upgrading the two existing plants in order to “increase their capacities for better treatment of wastewater to be discharged into the ocean and other water to be reused.”
For example, the Soi Wat Nongyai plant on the “dark side” of Sukhumvit Road can currently only treat 80,000 cubic metres of waste water a day. Following the expansion, the capacity would increase to around 130,000 cubic metres. Sounds good, on paper.
Let’s face it: Except for Russian families perhaps, most tourists don’t pick Pattaya as their favourite destination because of the beautiful beaches (sic) but for the nightlife attractions, bars and girls.
Then again, having said that the typical Pattaya tourist isn’t much of a beachgoer anyway doesn’t imply that the sea water quality isn’t of any importance at all.
It is. And it has been neglected for decades. And Pattaya would be just so much better if the beaches and the sea water quality weren’t just “poor” to “fairly good” at best but actually consistently clean – or at least as clean as is possible in a tourist city of over half a million.
Did authorities finally get the message now?