Hovercraft to be used in attempt to rid Dundee’s Swannie Ponds of red scum

The red scum at the Swannie Ponds

A clean-up operation to rid a set of Dundee ponds of their weed and algae problem will be launched this month.

For years, red scum has plagued Swannie Ponds at Stobsmuir Park due to stagnant water, bird waste and visitors throwing in bread to feed the swans.

Now a hovercraft device will be used to cut the weeds, which will be left in piles by the side of both ponds for seven to 10 days to allow insects to return to the water.

Aeration plates will then be installed in the ponds to fix the red scum problem.

Maryfield councillor Lynne Short said: “I did some investigating when I first became a councillor and it turned out that, years ago, Swannie Ponds was fed from a Scottish Water reservoir near the tram museum.

“Once the reservoir was taken away, the water became stagnant. This has caused an issue with weeds and red scum.

“The aeration plates will allow the water to churn, which will hopefully stop the scum from forming. It is excellent news that something is being done, which will not only improve the pond, but won’t affect the eco system.”

Ms Short added that to help prevent more problems in future, visitors should not throw bread into the water as it is bad for the birds and encourages bacteria growth.

The Friends of Swannie Ponds group is now considering putting up signage to discourage the practice.

The group’s chairman, Alan Maich, also assured local residents that despite its ugliness, the red scum isn’t dangerous. He said: “The only toxic algae is the blue green algae. The red scum is unsightly and is due to the build-up of bacteria.”

Stobsmuir Park will be further spruced up by having its entrance beside Pitkerro Road re-designed.

The path parallel to Stobsmuir Road will also be moved and some of the shrubs will be replaced. This work is due to start in October and will finish around January