'A difficult issue to tackle' - Council seeking solution to Waterways algae build-up
PUBLISHED: 10:51 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:07 09 July 2019
A Norfolk council is exploring ways to deal with the growth of algae in a popular seafront attraction.
Over the summer months the substance, which some consider unsightly, has flourished in the Venetian Waterways in Great Yarmouth.
The amenity was reopened in April after a £2.7m revamp which took ten months.
A network of winding manmade rivers, the attraction's water source is through a fresh water bore hole, while flow is maintained by an automatic timer system.
Dr Gill Malin, of the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, said: "If conditions are right, algae will grow, and there are very few habitats on Earth where they don't grow.
"Algae generally don't grow where there is insufficient light, insufficient carbon dioxide or insufficient nutrients.
"Nutrients could come in from the bore hole water, from the surrounding area or even from the air," she said.
In a statement Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "The build-up of algae and weed is a naturally-occurring phenomenon during the summer months in ponds and lakes across the country, including the Broads.
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"The council recognises this has been an ongoing issue at the Waterways for years.
"It fluctuates each summer depending on the weather conditions and is universally recognised as an incredibly complex and difficult issue to tackle."
The Waterways basin did not form part of the restoration project - but the council said it has been exploring a range of potential solutions.
"However, it's important to stress that there is no quick fix and each potential solution needs to be balanced against the potential financial and environmental costs," the authority said.
"Earlier this year, the council secured funding from the Coastal Revival Fund to help explore ways to increase water movement within the Waterways basin, which could help with this issue.
"Other options being considered include emptying and cleaning the basin, which would be costly, and dying the water to suppress growth, which could have other environmental impacts.
"This summer, the Waterways gardeners and Model Boat Club members are helping to remove some of the weed manually as a temporary solution, and also testing the effect of putting water lilies in the water," the council said.