Brief window to clear silt from St Albans’ dirty lake

PUBLISHED: 13:35 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:03 07 December 2017

Verulamium lake aerial view.

Verulamium lake aerial view.


A rare opportunity has arisen to easily remove silt from St Albans’ polluted Verulamium Lake.

A rare opportunity has arisen to easily remove silt from St Albans’ polluted Verulamium Lake.

One of the artificial ponds in Verulamium Park has dried up completely in the mild weather and St Albans district council (SADC) is looking to remove some of the troublesome muck while it is accessible.

The council is currently asking for quotes for the work, but if it rains and refills before arrangements are finalised the opportunity will be lost.

Head of community services for SADC, Debbi White, said: “We are investigating the most efficient and cost-effective method for removing the silt and disposing of it.

“This will be a challenging, complex and expensive operation and we will be inviting quotes for 
the work.

“If the silt removal is feasible and we are able to finance it, then we will go ahead.”

But she stressed it will only be a short-term improvement to ongoing problems, such as “a slow and irregular intake of fresh water from the River Ver”.

“We are working with several partners including the Environment Agency, Affinity Water and Herts county council’s countryside management services on finding a long-term solution.

“A report on the available options, such as returning the River Ver to its natural state, will be available 
next year.”

Landlord Christo Tofalli of nearby pub Ye Olde Fighting Cocks said: “I think it’s fantastic, I am really happy that they are looking 
at it.

“I do commend them for talking about it but I must be firm about this, it is a simple process, you get a machine and you get the silt out, it’s not difficult.

“This has been years in the making - at best, it’s been mismanaged. I am sceptical and disappointed they are not talking about action.

“The fact is they are going to have to spend some money because they can’t go on like this, it’s a health risk for humans.”

Verulamium Lake has been plagued with problems for years, culminating in a spate of avian botulism in summer 2015.

Silt made up of bird poo, leaves, and natural material has built up in the water for decades and ineffective sluice gates and stagnant water has exasperated the issue.

It means the lake can be a hostile area for wildlife, with low oxygen levels and algal blooms.

More news stories

Yesterday, 21:00

Festival go-ers enjoyed a summer night of live music, friends, and food at a start-up St Albans event.

Yesterday, 18:58

Do you recognise any of these items?

Yesterday, 17:26

A motorcyclist who was hospitalised in a crash between Wheathampstead and Welwyn Garden City is still in a critical condition.

Yesterday, 16:24

Mutiple vehicles have been involved in a crash on the A414 North Orbital Road.


A few years back I was fixing a shed in our garden and had enlisted the help of my young son. We were busy moving rotten pieces of wood from the side of the shed when suddenly I felt sharp stabbing pains in my lower legs. Before I had a chance to investigate my son started screaming in pain and it took a few more seconds to realize that we were trampling on a wasps’ nest!

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards