The 2014 Commonwealth Games showed the best of Glasgow, providing the stage for hundreds of unique celebrations, stories and memories. Setting this stage depended on collaboration and effective partnerships and Sniffer were there to help.

Why water quality in Strathclyde Loch matters

Strathclyde Country Park is one of Scotland's leading outdoor recreation facilities. When Glasgow won the right to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, it was chosen as the venue for the triathlon, with the swim portion of the event to take place in the loch. To host this prestigious event and ensure the safety of the competitors, water quality in the loch had to meet the exacting standards set by the International Triathlon Union. In the past, other water-based events needed to be cancelled when blue green algae blooms and spikes in pollutant levels drove down water quality. To ensure the Games could go ahead, and to improve the quality of the loch for future use and general recreation, these water quality issues had to be fixed.

What was the solution?

Improving water quality in the loch required a two-stage solution. First, we needed to know the causes of pollutants and second we needed to implement effective measures to reduce their impact on water quality.

How did Sniffer help to improve water quality in Strathclyde Loch?

In the first stage of the project Sniffer funded a collaborative study to assess the source of pollutants in the loch, the causes of algae blooms and to recommend options for improvements. In the second stage of the project, Sniffer led a multi-agency steering group to implement the recommendations of the study: creating a system of barriers to prevent new pollutants entering the loch and then treating the water to lift the quality to safe levels. You can read more about the solutions and challenges of the project in this summary.

What was the result? 

Thanks to Sniffer's help, water quality in the loch was greatly improved in time for the Games and the triathlon event was a huge success (with England taking all three gold medals). The floating barriers employed for the Games are re-usable, allowing water quality to be raised for future events while reducing the need to introduce cleaning agents into the ecosystem at other times.

Find out more about what is going on at Strathclyde Country Park on the North Lanarkshire Council's dedicated webpage.

Downloadable resources


*Banner image courtesy of North Lanarkshire Council