'Contaminated' Lake Grounds could cost hundreds of thousands to clean
PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 October 2019
The clean-up of Portishead's 'contaminated' Lake Grounds may cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, with expert scientific analysis required.
The lake has become 'clogged' in recent years due to pollutants running off the land and into the water, causing it to dry out in hot weather.
Fears have been raised the problem could cost a huge sum to address, with the contaminated silt possibly needing to be disposed of in deep landfill - which is likely to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The Lake Grounds is owned by North Somerset Council, but the authority declined to pay for an analysis of the silt due to cost concerns - leaving Portishead Town Council to take on the issue at its September meeting.
Chairman Paul Gardner said: "The lake dried up quite badly last year due to the weather, and a lot of residents have asked if we can clean it out.
"The main issue is the silt clogging up the Lake Grounds and running off the land is likely to be contaminated.
"The issue is if the silt is badly contaminated, it has to go in deep landfill which is really expensive, whereas if it is less contaminated it can go in normal landfill which is a lot cheaper.
"For the cost at the moment there is a huge range.
"If we want to understand the size of the problem we need to get analysis done.
"It's North Somerset's land and we've asked them the question and it has said it has got not money, so the question is are we willing to fund it as a town council?"
Cllr Sue Mason told colleagues a previous quote to clean the lake was £150,000 - but Cllr Gardner warned it could be 'a lot more' if deep landfill disposal is required.
The chairman added North Somerset would need to have a 'massive involvement' if the lake were to be cleaned.
Member of the public Patrick Heaton-Armstrong, a water engineer, offered his assistance to the town council, which was prepared to pay up to £5,000 for silt analysis.
He said: "As a water engineer having dealt with a number of reservoirs in the Bristol area, I have previously offered North Somerset to help out, and I'm available to do it again."
The town council voted in favour of meeting with Mr Heaton-Armstrong to assess the Lake Grounds before proceeding.