Portsmouth City Council buckles to pressure and cleans up Canoe Lake

Algae at Canoe Lake in Southsea
Algae at Canoe Lake in Southsea
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  • People power prevails as council cleans up Canoe Lake
  • Member of Portsmouth and District Model Power Boat Club said area looked like ‘abandoned cesspit’
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CANOE Lake has been given a clean-up following complaints it had become a blight on the area.

Pressure from residents resulted in Portsmouth City Council drafting in contractors English Landscapes to get rid of algae which had spread.

Canoe Lake in Southsea after it was cleaned up by Portsmouth City Council

Canoe Lake in Southsea after it was cleaned up by Portsmouth City Council

Christopher Hovells, of Portsmouth and District Model Power Boat Club, said he had raised the issue with the local authority on a number of occasions.

He said club members weren’t able to use the lake for events for weeks on end and said the mess reflected badly on Southsea as visitors come to stay for the summer.

Mr Hovells, 67, of Copnor, Portsmouth, took pictures of the lake when it was at its worst a few weeks ago and couldn’t believe what he saw.

Speaking at the time, he said: ‘It’s completely covered in algae and littered with polystyrene cups.

The council has got to find another way of getting rid of the fresh water. I thought it perhaps could have gone straight into the sewage system, rather than the lake.

Christopher Horells, of Portsmouth and District Model Power Boat Club

‘It’s a downright disgrace to Portsmouth.

‘It’s like an abandoned cesspit down there.

‘The main holiday season is about to start and it’s a right state.

‘We’ve got people coming down for the America’s Cup and they are going to look at the lake and think what a hole that is.’

Since then, the council has stepped in and taken action to eliminate the problems by stripping the lake of its algae. The lake is to also be refilled.

But Mr Hovells believes the problem will continue as freshwater being pumped into the lake from a fountain in a nearby play park is causing algae to form and spread.

He said: ‘The problem will continue to go on. The fountain from the children’s play area discharges into it.’

Mr Hovells said the council had dismissed his claims.

He said: ‘The council has got to find another way of getting rid of the freshwater.

‘I thought it perhaps could have gone straight into the sewage system, rather than the lake.’

Adrian Rozier, the council’s acting parks manager, said: ‘Canoe Lake has been cleared of the majority of floating algae, which was caused by freshwater diluting the natural salt water content.

‘Valves that allow seawater to enter the lake have since been adjusted so hopefully there won’t be a repeat issue, and we’ll partially drain the lake at an appropriate time and refill with seawater just to make sure it’s cleared.’