Officials have said that four facilities designed to prevent waste water from reaching the sea in Preah Sihanouk province would be ready for testing on Monday, as engineers readied to complete the projects before deadline.
Yos Chorm Narady, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Land, Urban Planning and Construction who is leading the construction team, told The Post on Thursday that the water treatment facilities would be online to give visitors to the province clean beaches for Khmer New Year.
He said construction was almost complete at all the facilities, with just the pipe connection between the four sites and the existing 16ha treatment plant remaining.
“The work is now to connect the pipes with the sewage system so we can pump water to it. We can prevent wastewater from reaching the sea by pumping it uphill."
“However, we cannot guarantee to prevent 100 per cent of polluted water from reaching the sea during the rainy season,” he said.
The four water treatment facilities are located at Independence, Sokha, O’Sa’at and Ochheuteal beaches.
Sihanoukville governor Y Sokleng said the four facilities would back up the existing 16ha treatment facility in Ochheuteal to prevent polluted water reaching rivers and eventually the ocean. Wastewater will be pumped to the Ochheuteal site to be purified before being released into the sea.
“With our existing [16ha] facility, water flows towards low-lying areas, so for high-level areas, such as Commune 2 and Commune 3, we need to pump wastewater from there to the Ochheuteal site,” he said.
Sok Sokhom, the director of the Cambodian National Research Organisation (CNRO) based in the province, told The Post that Sokha, Ochheuteal and Otres beaches had become notorious for having dirty water flowing into the sea and the new facilities should address the problem.
“After the water facilities begin operating, even if they cannot solve the issue 100 per cent, they can prevent the impact of having wastewater reach the ocean. We need to speed up construction in order to reduce the impact of pollution,” he said.