Periodic testing by the Pollution Control Department (PCD) and the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) indicates that there is evidence of heavy pollution in the lower basin of the Chao Phraya River.
The Chao Phraya River exhibited serious organic and bacterial pollution that was a threat to many aquatic species. Similarly, water quality was heavily degraded due to discharges from industrial, domestic and rural inflows. Nitrates and phosphates used in agriculture and washing detergents are also serious contaminants leading to excessive algal or plant growth, which can in turn lead to eutrophication and serious water degradation.
Water quality deteriorates quickly when large volumes of effluent and organic matter enter the river system
The Chao Phraya River and the Thai Way
Rivers and water symbolism are inextricably bound up with Thai village and cultural life. Water is the incubator for the staple foods of rice and fish. It is the principal element in rites of passage and in Thailand 's two most important festivals, Songkran and Loy Kratong. Its soft sensuality pervades the flowing lines of Sukhothai Buddha images, and the sinuous lines and planes that proliferate in wat (monastery) architecture and mural paintings.
The river provides an allegory of the Thai mode of negotiating life's obstacles: it does not confront them, it flows around them. Thais do not lives as independent entities, they blend their lives together, melding through consensus and compromise to preserve a liquid continuity whose surface, while often masking turmoil and contradiction, serves to lubricate social interaction.
- Steve Van Beek, 'The Chao Phya: River in Transition'