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Algae-bargy as Cllr wades in on Loop

Published on:

11 August 2016

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Enfield Council has swung into action to remove algae from the New River Loop following complaints from residents.

Enfield Council has swung into action to remove algae from the New River Loop following complaints from residents.

The recent hot weather has caused the borough's waterways, especially areas surrounding the New River Loop in Gentleman's Row, to suffer from a surge in the growth of algae, otherwise known as Water Fern, which makes the water look unsightly and can cause difficulties for fish and other wildlife. Today Cllr Daniel Anderson, Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, came along to help parks staff with the clean up, and remove the weed from the water's surface.

The recovered Water Fern will be composted and used to nourish the soil in Enfield's parks at a later date. Doing nothing or killing the algae with chemicals is not a practical solution because dying weed in the shallow river removes oxygen from the water and harms fish life. The next steps will be to release a particular species of weevil that feeds on algae, whilst in the longer-term introducing a mechanical solution, which will provide a current to the water. This will tackle the root cause of the problem, thus preventing the weed from forming in the first place.

Cllr Anderson said "Although naturally occurring, this algae is unsightly, and we often get complaints about it forming and we are doing our best to tackle it.

"Short-term solutions that involve clearing the river and improving the ascetics are clearly important as well as also benefiting the fish and other wildlife that live in the Loop. "However, the Council is also looking at more sustainable solutions including introducing microscopic creatures that eat the algae, and, in the autumn, installing a pump system that will ensure that the river no longer stagnates, and should put paid to the problem algae once and for all."