Seeing red over Loch turning sickly white

editorial image

A storm broke out over the usually tranquil waters of Lanark Loch when much of it suddenly turned a shade of sickly white last week.

The alarm was raised last Wednesday morning when many of those who walk and jog around the popular beautyspot first noticed the major discoloration, prompting a pollution alert.

Apart from its locally beloved colony of swans - virtually Lanark’s unofficial Town Pets — the Loch is also home to several species of fish; it 
is even earmarked for use as an emergency public reservoir.

One of the first to notice the problem was regular loch-side walker Willie Callaghan, who told the Gazette: “I noticed one of the burns feeding into the loch was running white and it eventually spread out into the loch itself.

“I followed the burn’s path all he way up to Caldwellside Industrial Estate. There is an artificial pool there to catch any surface water and that was clear.

“I worked in the dairy industry for some years and I remember the fluids we used to clean out the milk silos had the same look as this pollution when there was a leak.”

He alerted the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and they promised to inspect the loch early that afternoon.

He was in contact with them later and was alarmed to hear a representative at its Motherwell local base claim the burn was clear when they inspected it on Wednesday afternoon.

“I can’t see how that could be; I was there at 3pm and it was still white then!”

The Loch is in the stewardship of South Lanarkshire Council and Lanark Independent member Ed Archer promised a full investigation into the incident.