Thai ministry favours small-scale treatment

Wastewater treatment plants are likely to get smaller but the public will have to pay, says Praphat Panyachartrak, the minister of natural resources and environment in Thailand.

Wastewater treatment plants are likely to get smaller but the public will have to pay, says Praphat Panyachartrak, the minister of natural resources and environment in Thailand.

"It is clear that this government does not favour large-scale wastewater treatment facilities. Thailand has spent a lot of taxpayers' money to build large facilities, most of which failed to work and were left unused,'' the minister said. More than US$ 1.64 billion has been spent on 86 such facilities, of which 70% had failed to deliver. About 50 of 86 treatment plants nationwide have been left idle because officials lack money and manpower to run them.

The ministry is now drafting a national master plan on wastewater treatment that will set a policy advocating small-scale facilities built with local technology. The public would be required to pay for water treatment under the master plan.

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