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  • Glasgow Commonwealth games

    Strathclyde Loch Glasgow

    Unfortunately the Loch was built on a land fill site, and it's not clear if the clay capping is thick enough to drive piles into the bed, the quality of the water has a lot of algae.


Client: Glasgow City council

Contractor: Aquatic Engineering

Duration: 3 weeks

Date posted: 11-11-2013

Strathclyde Loch in Glasgow will host the 1500 metres swimming for the Commonwealth Games triathlon in July 2014. Testing of the water has shown high levels of algae and other contamination and there is an urgent need to improve the water quality.

Restoring the water quality of the loch long-term will also mean that people in the area can use it for swimming or various other water sports.

It is important to ensure that water quality will not present any risks to athletes.

Aquatic Engineering won the contract with their innovative design of installing two sets of barriers to segment the loch.

The section between the two could be treated and purified, ready for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 at a fraction of the cost of piling sheet steel. Putting in steel piles or penetrating through the clay causes it's own issues as this could potentially leak pollutants up from the substrates.

Unfortunately Strathclyde Loch was built on a land fill site and it is not clear if the clay capping is thick enough to drive piles into the bed. The water contains a lot of algae.

After the last Commonwealth Games, 52 of the 70+ swimmers were affected by the poor water quality. MMC divers worked closely with Aquatic Engineering to install the ground anchors and dredge the surface of the bed to accommodate the complex anchoring system.

Sniffer is managing this project with technical support from SEPA, Glasgow City Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Government, Scottish Water and the Commonwealth Games. Phase 1 is funded by the Water Environment Restoration Fund.

"This challenging but exciting project attempts to balance the demands of high profile water sport use and wider environmental interests within a very tight timeframe. The teams we have on board have all the right mix of skills to complete this excellent project."

Calum McPhail
Environmental Quality Unit Manager
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

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