Toxic Blue Lagoon cleanup plan faces major objections

The boss of a new water purification company has unveiled a plan to clean up toxic water from Derbyshire’s famous Blue Lagoon, but his idea has been heavily criticized locally.

David McDonald says Hoffman Quarry in Harpur Hill could become the first body of water in the UK to be decontaminated using a state-of-the-art filtration system, which would not only make it safer for animals and humans, but doing so would eliminate the bright blue hue of the water, which attracts the crowds that crowd the village below.

Despite the challenges of setting up an electric filtration system in an isolated quarry and the cost of installing it amounting to almost £20,000, Mr McDonald is convinced that Hoffman Quarry would be an ideal place to showcase the new technology.

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

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

She said: “I don’t think that’s an option. The only option there would be in using a filtration system would be if we had to empty it because if we did empty it we could use it to remove the toxins, so the water would be safe and could be diverted elsewhere.

“But as far as its use in the career at the moment, I’d say it’s a no.

“We wouldn’t want to encourage people to come to the quarry. We dye the water to make it black, to make it look unwelcoming for people to swim in. Because even if you take it out toxins, it’s not sure.

“It’s very deep, it’s very cold, and there will always be dead animals and decaying cars. It’s really not a good place to swim anyway, so we would never want people to s swim there.

“So no way, 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 land to build industrial units on it, but problems arose over vehicle access at the site.

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

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

“That would mean you’re out of danger, which is better for wildlife and the community.

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

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

He says 70% of UK lakes are ‘poisoned’ and there are five limestone quarry basins in Derbyshire which are his main areas of interest.

Hoffman Quarry, he hopes, could be on the cutting edge of new technology.

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

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

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

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

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