Lecturer’s claim of E.coli in Doi Suthep waterfall spurs tests
Water resources near Doi Suthep mountain are being checked for bacteria after a Chiang Mai University lecturer warned people that the Rab Sadet Waterfall is contaminated with E.coli.
Rungsrit Kanjanavanit, a lecturer at the university’s Faculty of Medicine, said in a Facebook post that the waterfall was contaminated due to poor wastewater management in the community living further up. The community lives above the waterfall near the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple.
Pollution Control Department director-general Attapon Charoenchansa said the Environmental and Pollution Control Office 1 and Regional Health Promotion Centre 1 collected samples at three water resources on Monday, namely Peen Pak Pai and Rab Sadet waterfalls and Wat Pha Lat Bridge.
“The Pollution Control Office 1 will conduct tests for E.coli, which will take seven days,” he said. “The Environmental and Pollution Control Office 1 will, meanwhile, check for total coliform bacteria and faecal coliform bacteria.”
He said that Rungsrit had cited a study conducted by Chiang Mai University students, but it did not include E.coli tests. He also claimed that the lecturer’s Facebook post can cause confusion and panic among people.
"Hence, it is necessary to boost awareness," he said, adding that the concept of launching public awareness campaigns has been discussed with related agencies.
He added that the Environmental and Pollution Control Office 1 will cooperate with other agencies to help tackle the issue if the waterfall is found to be contaminated.