The poisonous blue lagoon could lose its “dazzling” color

The boss of a new water purification company wants to shake off the bright blue hue of a popular Peak District beauty spot where Yorkshire tourists flock.

The Hoffman Quarry at Harpur Hill, Buxton – known as the “Blue Lagoon” – is a popular excursion spot for the people of Sheffield, who often flock to the place to cool off in the dazzling water on a hot day. daytime.

However, the area has been the subject of much controversy in recent years as people continue to ignore warnings about the dangers of swimming, Derbyshire Live reports.

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The water, while beautiful to look at, is highly toxic and tourists descending to the area have also caused chaos during the lockdown period – people apparently using the local gardens as toilets.

But the boss of a new water purification company saw the potential to clean up the quarry and make it safer for people and wildlife, thus encouraging even more people in the area.

David McDonald wants to use new technology to decontaminate water using a state-of-the-art filtration system, making the Lagoon the first body of water in the UK to benefit from this treatment.

Swimmers can be seen diving into the bright blue water, which is very toxic and contains dangerous obstacles below the surface

Despite the challenges of setting up an electric filtration system in an isolated quarry and the cost of installing it nearly £ 20,000, Mr McDonald is confident that the Hoffman Quarry would be a great place to present the news. technology.

He claims he even had an enthusiastic response to the idea from a senior member of Derbyshire County Council staff.

But the sophisticated technology would remove the glorious blue hue from the water, and it proved to be an unpopular idea locally for other reasons.

High Peak Borough Councilor Linda Grooby, who has been closely involved in the Blue Lagoon controversy from the start, told Derbyshire Live there is unlikely to be a local appetite for it.

She said: “I don’t think that’s an option. The only option that would be to use a filtration system would be to drain it, because if we drained it, we could use it to remove toxins from the water. would therefore be safe and could be diverted elsewhere.

“But in terms of its use in the career right now, I would say that’s a no.

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“We wouldn’t want to encourage people to come to the quarry. We dye the water to make it black, to make it unwelcoming to people who swim in it. Because even if you remove the toxins from it, it doesn’t. is not safe.

“It’s very deep, it’s very cold, and there will always be dead animals and rotting cars. It’s really not a good place to swim anyway, so there’s no way that we would like people to bathe there.

“So not at all, that’s not really an option.”

Councilor Grooby explained that the landowner, whose identity has never been revealed, hinted that he wanted to use the fenced lot to build industrial units, but issues arose regarding vehicle access to the building. site.

Mr McDonald says he is insisting on his Zeoconcept filtration system, which was developed in Sweden and used effectively in similar toxic swimming pools, and he hopes to work with local authorities to pursue the idea.

He said: “We would be able to make it perfectly safe what is currently a health hazard. We have spoken to the county council and they are concerned about the safety aspect and the environmental benefits.

“It would mean you are out of danger, which is better for the wildlife and the community.

“It could be used as a water source, it could be used as a lake of fire or whatever.”

Mr McDonald added that the filtration system’s by-product, zeolite, can be used as an organic fertilizer, and growers who have used it say it has been shown to be so effective that they were able to use less. of water and that they got better plant growth. .

He says 70% of UK lakes are “poisoned” and that there are five lime quarry ponds in Derbyshire which are his main areas of interest.

Hoffman Quarry, he hopes, could be at the forefront of new technology.

The so-called Blue Lagoon near Buxton has been described by authorities as
The so-called Blue Lagoon near Buxton has been described by authorities as “possibly the most dangerous water in the UK”.

The quarry made headlines last summer after a post-lockdown stampede by day trippers led to chaotic and controversial scenes in the village of Harpur Hill, which has no parking lot for the quarry and no public toilets.

Villagers reported hordes of people showing up, carrying barbecues and loudspeakers, and even using the gardens and church yard as toilets.

Eventually, local farmers took matters into their own hands and poured foul smelling slurry into the quarry.

This year has seen a steady flow of visitors, but the frequent dyeing of the water by High Peak City Council and traffic displacement measures by Derbyshire Police have meant that the influx of people seen the year last was not repeated.

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