Keptie Pond work could reduce algae

ALGAE growing on Keptie Pond in the summer could become a thing of the past after Angus Council recommended £46,000 of Common Good cash should be spent on installing a borehole.

In recent years, prolonged warm weather in the summer has seen the rapid growth of algae on top of the water, and despite the best efforts of local authority workers to remove it by hand, within days it grows back.

However, the current method of removing the algae manually is costing the council over £8,000 annually and now they believe a borehole and pump system would be more cost effective.

Yesterday (Thursday) councillors were to discuss the recommendations for Keptie Pond at a full Angus Council meeting and to decide whether to back the plans.

The borehole, which will first have to get the appropriate approval from SEPA, will be installed on a trial basis.

It will top up the water levels in the pond and then abstract ground water to enhance the water levels.

The cost of the borehole will be around £45,000 and would then require annual operating costs of £1,000 with all of these funds coming from Arbroath’s Common Good fund.

However should the proposals be approved, the plans will be put out to tender meaning work would not start until August and the effects of the borehole will not be seen until next summer.

In a report to councillors, director of neighbourhood services Ron Ashton recommended this process would be the most cost effective and sustainable.

He said: “Continued warm summer weather combined with low water levels have supported the rapid growth of some varieties of algae resulting in an algae bloom.

“Essentially the growing acuteness of this issue requires that a prescriptive remedy be applied at the earliest opportunity.

“The option recognises that it would be possible to install a trial borehole reaching into the existing ground water (subject to a successful pump test).

“This would allow the provision of capping and water well arrangements including the installation of pumping equipment and underground pipe work to maintain future water levels.

“All local elected members have been consulted on and are supportive of the proposal and are agreeable to funding the costs from the Arbroath Common Good Fund.”

However, Mr Ashton admits the plans would not fully solve the problem but should vastly reduce the algae growth.

He added: “It is recognised that although topping up the water levels will not fully remove the problem of algae growth, it is believed that this procedure should greatly reduce the problem down to a more manageable level and, therefore, forms a sustainable long term solution.”