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  1. #1
    Ian Cloke Guest


    Thousands of fish have died because of a lack of oxygen, in an environmental disaster at Llandrindod Wells’ premiere tourist spot.

    Residents and visitors were distressed to see dead fish floating on the water at Llandrindod Wells lakeside, with many others coming to the surface gasping for breath, after blooms of blue-green algae starved the water of its oxygen.

    A desperate bid to save the remaining fish has been underway all week. Council workers have been taking the dead fish to a landfill site, while pumps have been operating 24 hours a day to help re-oxygenate the lake.

    The council warned the public not to fish, swim or allow their pets near the lake two weeks ago when the toxic blue-green algae started multiplying dramatically due to the heatwave.

    But Llandrindod Wells county councillor Keith Tampin and the chairman of the Lakeside Angling Club, Bernard Johns, claim the council’s actions to tackle the problem were too little to late.


  2. #2
    Ian Cloke Guest


    Councillor Tampin said: “I had a phone call at 8am on Tuesday morning and it was awful when I came up here.

    “The smell was unbelievable, especially near the Lakeside Restaurant, which isn’t a very good advert for the town.

    “The lake is supposed to be the jewel in the town’s crown but you would look after a jewel and the truth is that the council has not looked after the lake for years.

    “I don’t think the action being taken now was done quickly enough but I am hopeful that it will work and make the best of a bad situation.

    “It will cost a fortune to re-stock the lake and I doubt that the council has that sort of money available.”

    Mr Johns said thousands of fish, including roach, gudgeon, carp, tench and bream, had died.

    “There have been hundreds of carp found dead including some over 20lb in weight,” he said. “My son and I found three dead ones and just to buy them in would cost about £500 each.

    “There were loads of carcasses on the surface of the water and the fish were gulping for air. The council has brought in pumps now but everything has been so slow. We could have been 24 hours ahead of what is going on now. I don’t think anyone at Powys County Council grasped what was going on here.”

    Mr Johns claimed the council had also had blue-green algae on its pond at County Hall but it was treated with straw bales which suck up the algae. He asked why the same could not have been done at the Lake.

    But a spokesman for the county council said the logistics of placing bales of straw in the lake made it impossible, and the debris left would have created greater problems.

    He added: “This is a natural phenomenon that the council has little control over. Blue-green algae are natural inhabitants of inland water, and during the recent hot and calm weather they have risen to the surface to form a scum. One of the unfortunate side effects of this algae is that is starves the water of oxygen, threatening fish life.”

    He said the fire service had been on site to pump water into the lake and other pumps from Masco had been running 24 hours a day to help re-oxygenate the lake.

    “The pumps will be on site for as long as necessary and we will continuously monitor the oxygen levels of the lake to ensure that the pumps are performing adequately,” he said.

    “The Environment Agency is offering advice to the council but is unable to provide assistance with equipment as it is being used elsewhere.”

    Martin Watkins of Environment Agency Wales said: “I understand many thousands of fish have died, which is a tragedy.

    “There are only two things that can be done – you can put oxygen into the water or you can move the fish, but they need a disease check first as they could contaminate stocks in the lake they are moved to and kill even more fish.

    “It could also be more dangerous to move the fish if they are already stressed from lack of oxygen because they could die as a result of stress.

    “People are always upset by instances like this but at the end of the day the algae is the result of nature and so is the death of the fish. There is nothing more we or the council could have done.”

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