Promise of action at pond

Councillors Alex King, David Fairweather, Bob Spink and Dave Lumgair with a map of Keptie Pond pictured on Tuesday.

Councillors Alex King, David Fairweather, Bob Spink and Dave Lumgair with a map of Keptie Pond pictured on Tuesday.

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Arbroath councillors gathered this week to highlight a problem with the town pond and pledged to see it returned to its former glory.

On Tuesday, despite torrential rain, Bob Spink, David Fairweather, David Lumgair and Alex King met with senior Angus Council officers in response to concerns over the growth of algae and a drop in water levels at Keptie Pond.

It started life as a skating pond and was routinely drained in the summer preventing the growth of algae before being refilled from the burgh’s water supply.

Councillor Spink explained this was no longer an option: “Scottish Water now control the water supply and using it at Keptie would be out of the question because of the high cost. I was told that to raise the water level by only 300mm would cost £22,500. Options now available to us now must take into account the biodiversity of the pond and its fish population, a problem we did not have before.

“I advocated strongly the use of a borehole and this was approved by council. Up till now though the volume of water output has come far short of what I would have expected from such a borehole and indeed provides not much more that of a garden hose! Given the cost of this option I am extremely unhappy at this situation.

“I remain of the view that if we can introduce sufficient pure water many of the seen problems will be controlled through dilution by increased volume and flushing through of the pond water. Not immediately, but over some years.”

The algae which has been the subject of much public concern appears to be an oxygenating aquatic weed of the Milfoil genus.

Councillor Fairweather said: “It’s natural pond weed in the pond which is actually good for the pond, as long as there’s not too much of it. The council officers looked at it and they think that some it should be removed.

“When we looked at the pond the algae from two years ago certainly hasn’t disappeared, but it’s an awful lot better since the bore hole has been working. We always said that the bore hole could take anything up to two or three or perhaps even five years to have an effect.

“It was a very positive meeting and now I look forward to getting the pond back to the standard that it should be.”