Carmarthenshire County Council is keen to re-open North Dock in Llanelli. The primary concern is public safety and the Council have put up warning signs around the perimeter of the Dock to warn of the dangers of illness due to naturally occurring algae in the water. The Council is in regular dialogue with Natural Resources Wales on testing and potential solutions for an issue that is not unique to North Dock.
North Dock and the Loughour Estuary are dynamic, separate, natural environments. Water quality and algae levels are affected by nutrient levels, shade and sun levels, the temperature, tide, and the amount of water circulation.
Carmarthenshire County Council is working hard to manage the level of water circulation and trialling the manual removal of some algae dynamically and carefully. Beyond this, the Council is advised that there are limits to what it can do, mindful of the environmental designations of the Loughor Estuary. Rising temperatures across the world are seeing natural environmental change and we will do all we can to maximise North Docks’ continued summer viability for leisure use.
In a joint statement, Cllr. Aled Vaughan Owen, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability said: “There is not a straightforward solution to this problem as it’s important to remember that the whole of the Loughor Estuary is a habitat for local wildlife. Both bodies of water, the North Dock and the Estuary, have complex and dynamic characteristics; the movement and circulation of water between both areas has to be carefully managed.”
Cllr. Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism said: “We want North Dock to be used for its intended purpose, which is as a safe, inland, recreational body of water and we are working with other agencies to resolve the issue. There is no truth to the rumours of plans to sell the Dock. We are committed to developing the area for recreational purposes.”