Water diversion bypass to divert fresh water from reaching cave

A 200-metre long bypass has been built to divert as much as 13,000 cubic metre/day water from flowing into Tham Luang cave as officials continue to drain water out of the cave.

Royal Irrigation Department chief Thongplaew Kongchan said Wednesday that his officials and those from the Mineral Resources Department, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, PTT, Chevron Thailand and villagers joined hands to build the water diversion bypass after it was discovered on Tuesday that there is a creek at the southward end of Tham Luang or Martin Point that flows into the cave.

The 200-metre long water diversion bypass which is expected to be completed today will divert about 13,000 cubic metres of water from flowing into the cave each day and will thus cause water in the cave to recede even if there are rains.

Currently, about 68,000 cubic metres of water are being drained out of the cave each day, making the water level in the cave to drop an average of one centimeter every two hours, said Mr Thongplaew.

As for the 800 rai of rice field which is flooded as a result of the water pumped out of the cave, water pumps have been installed by officials of the Town and City Planning Department to drain water out of the rice field into Ma canal about 30 kilometres away.

The Ma canal merges with Nam Luak river before it flows down into the Mekong  River.