Council considering bringing in tanker to shift silt from Verulamium Lake

A film of green algae covers parts of Verulamium lake

A film of green algae covers parts of Verulamium lake - Credit: Archant

In a bid to clear Verulamium Lake of the build up of decades of silt the district council is considering bringing in a tanker to shift it.

The council recently removed about 45 tonnes of silt from the lake following numerous complaints from residents and visitors about the look and smell of the water.

It also comes after hundreds of duck deaths from avian botulism - a paralytic disease caused by bacteria from the silt combined with hot weather.

The district council has now said it is ‘investigating the logistics’ of bringing in a tanker to help move more silt near the bridge end of the lake.

But there will have to be an eight-weeks wait before it becomes clear if this is an option - as the park is part of a Scheduled Ancient Monument.


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As the park was once part of the Roman town of Verulamium it is legally protected, and the tanker weighs 38 tonnes when full.

The current proposal is that the tanker enter the park via the Verulamium Museum car park and the district council will need permission from Historic England and English Heritage.

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Richard Shwe, the council’s head of community services, said a site visit was being arranged with the two organisations.

He added that if the council applied to use a tanker, it would take up to eight weeks for an answer.

He continued: “The operation will also have to be costed and decisions made on whether it is affordable.

“Since the silt removal, there has been a significant reduction in the number of unwell and dead waterfowl found in and around the lakes.

“This, though, is only a short-term solution to the many problems presented by the lakes which were built 80 years ago.

“We remain committed to producing a long-term solution and are working flat-out on that with the Environment Agency and other groups.”

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