Bangkok sets deadline for condominiums to solve water quality problems by July 11

Bangkok, Bangkok has given a deadline to condominiums in the Chatuchak area. If they do not solve the water quality problem by July 11, legal action will be taken. Mr. Ekwaranyu Amrapal, spokesman for Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, revealed the progress of the case of several residents of a condominium in the Chatuchak area who developed conjunctivitis from using water in the condominium. He said that on June 14, 2014, the Chatuchak District Office, together with the Chatuchak Public Health Service Center 51, investigated the disease and found a total of 90 patients with pink eye disease, with symptoms of red eyes and eye inflammation. Initially, the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority officers measured the residual free chlorine in the water from the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (before entering the underground tank) and measured 1 ppm. As for the water from the underground and above-ground tanks, no chlorine was found (the standard value for water at the end of the pipe is 0.2-0.5 ppm). Therefore , the officers tested the residual free chlorine in the underground water tank and the rooftop water tank. The results showed no residual chlorine (less than 0.2 ppm), which is not in accordance with the tap water standard. The juristic person reported that they had sent the water for analysis to find pathogens that cause conjunctivitis, including tap water before entering the project and water from the underground water tank. Water from the water tank on the roof, water from the room of a sick resident, sent for testing at Chulalongkorn Hospital and Siriraj Hospital. The officials recommended that the juristic person staff add chlorine to the water tank and maintain the chlorine level within the standard criteria, as well as increase the frequency of cleaning common contact points such as elevators, common areas, and prohibit the use of the swimming pool, which the juristic person promised to take action to fix it completely. Therefore, the officials have not yet issued a written recommendation document. La ter, on 21 June 2024, the district office went to inspect and follow up with the Public Health Service Center 51 Chatuchak by sending a document with recommendations and guidelines for managing water quality in high-rise buildings to the juristic person. The juristic person was urged to make corrections and improvements to prevent the spread of the disease. On 22 June 2024, the building and premises department of the condominium started adding chlorine to kill germs. On 25 June 2024, the water analysis results found that the tap water from the underground water tank and the tap water from 5 residents' rooms had Acanthamoeba spp., trophozoites, which caused pink eye. The building department cleaned the underground water tank and added chlorine to meet the standards. On 26 June 2024, the staff from the public health service center were notified that there were more patients with conjunctivitis, with a total of 200 patients. On July 1-2, 2024, residents filed a complaint to the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, the Governor of Bangkok, and the Bangkok Health Department via the Traffy Fondue system, requesting an inspection of the resolution of the outbreak of conjunctivitis in the condominium building, including monitoring the management of the condominium juristic person to ensure that it complies with the standards or criteria set by law to prevent the outbreak of disease and damage to public health. On July 3, 2024, Chatuchak District Office, together with the Emergency Monitoring and Response Group, the Urban Disease Control Institute, the Department of Health, the Ministry of Public Health, the Communicable Disease Control Division, and the Public Health Service Center 51 Chatuchak, Bangkok, went to the area to follow up on the results of the problem solving. From the follow-up results, it was found that the condominium had cleaned the water tank and checked the water pipe system inside the building annually in December 2023. The underground water tank was cleaned, leakage areas were inspected, and chlorine was added. However, the working group still found deficiencies in hygiene. It was found that the other 3 water tanks had not been cleaned and disinfected using the Chlorine Shock method, which did not comply with the guidelines for water quality management in high-rise buildings of the Department of Health, the Ministry of Public Health. Therefore, the working group recommended measures to comply with the guidelines for water quality management in high-rise buildings and the guidelines for management, prevention, and control of pathogen contamination in the water supply system. The working group randomly tested water from the faucets of the bathroom downstairs of the condominium. The results showed no residual free chlorine. Then, on July 4, 2024, the Chatuchak District Office sent a letter of recommendation to improve and correct deficiencies in hygiene at the premises. For the condominium juristic person, proceed by reporting the results of disease control operations to the Chatuchak District O ffice for monitoring and surveillance of the outbreak. On July 11, 2024, there will be another inspection visit to the area. If it is found that the juristic person of the said condominium does not comply with the advice received, a local official order will be issued to the juristic person of the said condominium and the results will be followed up. If the order is not followed, legal action will be taken against the juristic person of the condominium in accordance with the Public Health Act of 1992. Source: Thai News Agency