Council rule out use of machines as a solution to Verulamium lake crisis

A film of green algae covers parts of Verulamium lake

A film of green algae covers parts of Verulamium lake

Archant

Plans to oxygenate the poisoned Verulamium Lake with machines have been ruled out by a St Albans district council scrutiny committee.

A film of green algae covers parts of Verulamium lakeA film of green algae covers parts of Verulamium lake

Last summer an outbreak of avian botulism killed numerous ducks and there are concerns the virus could return later this year if water quality is not improved.

Various solutions have been suggested to the council, as reported by the Herts Advertiser, but machines have been ruled out because the lake is not deep enough for them to be effective.
The council
continue to look at other solutions which would create a ‘natural ecosystem’ to improve water quality.

Officers are considering placing aquatic plants on the fringes of the lake, creating a third island, and implementing floating reed beds, but currently no funding for such solutions has been secured.

Cllr Anthony Rowlands, chair of the Local Services Scrutiny Committee, said: “These are complex and testing problems, but we now have a better understanding of them. We know what is behind the poor water quality and, as a result, the options for improving it are taking shape.

“Clearly, a solution will come with a cost and finding the required funds will be another challenge for the council.

“This committee will continue to monitor this issue as a long-term plan is devised and costed. Verulamium Park is one of the city’s biggest landmarks and visitor attractions, so it is vital that we reduce the risk of the scourge of avian botulism.”

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