Chiang Mai says Old City moat is clean for Songkran water battles

City authorities in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai say the water in the Old City moat will be clean enough for water fights at the Songkran Festival. After an inspection tour on Monday, mayor Thassanai Buranupakorn declared the water measured up to hygiene standards and was not a risk to people’s health.

The delegation of city officials conducted the inspection tour following vociferous complaints that the moat was too polluted for the Songkran water fights. Mayor Buranupakorn told reporters municipal workers had drained the moat last month and refilled it with water from reservoir reserves.

He added that small amounts of chlorine had been added to the moat water to ensure it was reasonably hygienic. Numerous social media users posted up complaints last month after seeing the lower level of the water in the moat that it was dirty.

Chiang Mai was the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. 12GO ASIA says the water fights which herald the advent of Songkran evolved from the Lanna tradition of pouring water on the hands of elders and Buddha statues at temples. Chiang Mai is celebrating Songkran 2017 between the 13 and 15 April.

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