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Algae blight at boating lake to be surveyed
12:20pm Thursday 27th September 2012 in Cornwall
A survey is to be carried out on the annual problem of algae blighting Helston’s Coronation Lake.
Often described as “the jewel in the crown” of Helston, the appearance of the lake – which is popular with families and dog walkers – is marred each year by a bloom of thick, sludgy algae across its surface.
This is most prominent in the summer months – the time when most people want to enjoy one of the town’s main green areas.
Cornwall Councillor Andy Wallis, whose electoral division the lake falls within, has been fighting for two and a half years to get the issue with algae resolved.
He told the town’s councillors last Thursday that this month had seen an unusual third bloom of algae on the lake, which was being dealt with, but there was good news on the horizon.
He said: “Cornwall Council has agreed finally to pay for an extensive survey on the boating lake looking at the minerals and nitrates to find out what type of mud pollution is at the bottom of the lake. That will help when we go for money to redo the lake.”
Mr Wallis said the survey, which will be carried out by a specialist company, should determine if it was considered industrial waste.
It should begin in October, but part of the lake would need to be drained in order for the survey to be carried out properly. “This is the first real survey. Hopefully this will lead us on to better things and a better lake,” he added.
Town councillor Niall Devenish asked whether the study would also include the dirty water courses that flow into the lake.
He said: “When I was younger there was a definite tide on that lake. I think if the tide can be increased and more fresh water is flowing in and out that will help break up the algae bloom.
“If you just study what’s on the bottom of the lake and not the tide, you’ll spend a lot of money dredging it, repairing it and putting in fresh water and then 12 months later be back to square one.”
Mr Wallis said the study would look at establishing where the water is coming from.
“We need to establish what’s in the lake and then look at where it’s going. It’s taken two and a half years to get the survey, so we’re on the road,” he added.