Council pour cold water on diving at Lough Salt

Following recent diving at Lough Salt to retrieve golf balls use by legendary golfer Old Tom Morris, Donegal County Council issued a statment pointing out that the lake is one of the main sources for drinking water in Letterkenny and that “any threat to the quality of the water is taken very seriously”.

Following recent diving at Lough Salt to retrieve golf balls use by legendary golfer Old Tom Morris, Donegal County Council issued a statment pointing out that the lake is one of the main sources for drinking water in Letterkenny and that “any threat to the quality of the water is taken very seriously”.

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the Council comment: “Donegal County Council is extremely concerned about the recent reports in the media on diving activity in the waters of Lough Salt County Donegal for recreational reasons and in particular the retrieval of artefacts from the lake bottom.

“Lough Salt is one of the main sources of drinking water for Letterkenny and its environs. The unique waters of Lough Salt are of a very high quality and are vital to the quality of drinking water for the population and any activity that could lead to a threat to the quality of this water is taken very seriously by the Council.

“The publicity that has recently been in the media has been of a nature which could potentially attract further use of the lake as a source of such recreational diving which to date has not been the case. The Council wishes to advise that as a drinking water source Lough Salt is a protected water body under the Water Framework Directive and the Council will take all measures necessary within its powers to prevent further use of this lake for such recreational use.

“It should also be noted that Lough Salt is a deep lake and diving in the lake requires the use of specialist diving equipment operated by divers trained and capable of using such equipment. The only situation that the Council will consider in terms of granting permission to dive in Lough Salt will be in relation to emergency contingency planning in order to develop a planned response to an accident which results in a recovery operation from the waters of the lake.”