Loch treated to keep triathletes safe

Triathletes dive into Strathclyde Loch during the Commonwealth Games
Triathletes dive into Strathclyde Loch during the Commonwealth Games

North Lanarkshire Council are confident a major sporting event will go ahead at Strathclyde Park this weekend despite contamination of the loch.

As it has done for the past few summers a blue-green algae has formed on the surface due to polluted flood run-off being flushed into the loch from the South Calder Water.

Strathclyde Park is set to host the British Triathlon Under-20s Festival on Saturday and Sunday, and while part of the loch the swimming leg has been sealed off with an inflatable boom it hadn’t prevented the algae getting in.

The algae is considered dangerous to health if consumed so the council were forced to treat the area with chemicals in July.

Unfortunately a spell of warm weather saw it return, but having treated the area again on Tuesday believe it is now under control and will some of the UK’s top young athletes are safe to take the plunge.

A council spokeswoman said: “The loch was treated on July 19 which resulted in an immediate reduction in blue-green algae levels and restored water quality to a good status.

“The run of late summer warm weather led to a further bloom and this was treated on Tuesday.

“We’re monitoring the algae levels daily and hoping the water quality will return to a good status.”

Meanwhile, parents of under-18 water users such as rowers are being forced to sign disclaimers before being

allowed on the rest of the loch.

Ken Forbes, head of environmental assets, said: “Experienced users of non-immersion activities, such as

rowers and sailors, can go on the water and we’re making them aware of the steps they should take before they do so.”