There are currently about 100 central domestic wastewater treatment (WWT) systems in operation in Thailand, with a combined treatment capacity of approximately 2.7 million m3 (cubic meters) per day or 27% of the total domestic wastewater generated. An expansion of new treatment systems is foreseen under the 20-year Water Resources Management Master Plan through the installation of more than 700 new systems by 2037.
Existing WWT systems are often inefficiently managed, resulting in low performance, high operating costs and unfavourable effects on the climate.
Managing and maintaining a reliable database with rapidly changing data relating to domestic wastewater treatment from various stakeholders is challenging. Although paper-based data management procedures may still be necessary in some cases, they lack convenience in terms of searching, editing, and monitoring the real-time operation of the plants. Moreover, it is difficult to maintain and utilise data in the long run.
To tackle these challenges, the Pollution Control Department (PCD), GIZ and the Geo Info consulting company have developed the online database “DSPOT” (Database System for Publicly Owned Treatment Works). Its goal is to present the authorised data relating to the public wastewater treatment facilities in an interactive way. The database will not only improve the working procedures of the responsible staff, but also benefit the public by allowing them to search for and utilise the information through Open Data e.g. details of each wastewater treatment facility, the amount of wastewater collected by the plants, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the treatment process.
Administered by PCD, the data management process for the public wastewater treatment plants is being actively used by various stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. The key actors are (1) Local Government Organizations (LGO), providing wastewater treatment services, (2) Regional Environment Offices (REO), offering technical advisory to LGOs, and (3) the Pollution Control Department (PCD), which supports the national policy development and technical knowledge.
On 19 October 2021, PCD and GIZ hosted an online training session as an introduction on how to use the programme. Representatives from REO, the Wastewater Management Authority, Department of Drainage and Sewerage of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning joined and gave further feedback on how to improve the database.
In her opening speech, Ms. Preeyaporn Suwanaged, PCD’s Deputy Director-General, said: “We hope the training will help all parties understand how it works and use the database to enhance our working process and make it more effective.”
Mr. Werner Kossmann, GIZ’s Project Director of the Thai-German Climate Programme – Waste (TGCP-Waste), also stressed the importance of the data management. “It helps us understand the current situation and find appropriate solutions to improve the operation of the wastewater treatment plants. Moreover, it is useful to monitor, report and verify data essential for the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) implementation in the domestic wastewater sector.”
Did you know? Thai-German Climate Programme – Waste component (also known to the Thai partners as “Integrated Waste and Wastewater Management for GHG Reduction)” is a cooperation project between PCD and GIZ. Aiming to accomplish Thailand’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) goals, the project promotes better management of solid waste and wastewater from households to reduce GHG emissions and contribute to the country’s GHG mitigation targets.