Some $190 million will be spent to construct filtration stations in Preah Sihanouk province to address the problem of dirty water flowing into the sea.
However, the director-general of public works at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Heng Rathpiseth, who is the project’s organiser, cautioned that the measure will not fully eradicate the problem but will mitigate it and limit its impact on the environment.
Nonetheless, he said the $190 million will be spent on constructing a 45km drainage system and filtration stations in the province.
Rathpiseth said there are four locations in which filtration stations will be built, with at least one of them set to be completed by 2020 to urgently address the problem. He did not confirm the exact date that construction will begin but said the master plan is almost finished.
“In January, we will finish the master plan and will try to find a budget from development partners. We need to first build a filtration station which is capable of filtering 40,000 cubic metres of water per day, while the first drainage system is required to be 45km long to prevent the dirty water from flowing into the sea,” he said.
Until the new filtration station is completed, he said, the authorities will build a temporary gabion wall – a structure that is capable of filtering dirty water.
“The budget for the construction of a gabion is about $3 to $4 million from the government. There are two types of dirty water – black and grey – and the gabion will help to filter the black water and turn it into grey water in order to reduce the dirtiness when it flows into the natural sources,” he said.
The province currently has only one filtration station capable of purifying 6,000 cubic metres of water per day – far short of the 30,000 cubic metres of dirty water produced per day in the province.
Cambodian National Research Organisation director Sok Sokhom welcomed measures preventing dirty water from flowing into the sea, but urged the government to complete the construction of the filtration station as soon as possible to ensure the beach is hygienic and appealing to tourists.