Warning over toxic Harpur Hill 'Blue Lagoon'

Harpur Hill
Image caption Although the lagoon looks picturesque, the water has a pH level of 11.3

Hundreds of people are putting themselves at risk by swimming in a polluted lagoon at a disused Derbyshire quarry, councillors have said.

Known locally as the Blue Lagoon, the quarry at Harpur Hill, near Buxton, is filled with water with a pH level of 11.3. Bleach has a pH level of 12.3.

Both High Peak Borough (HPBC) and Derbyshire county councils have called for the quarry to be filled in.

HPBC said despite trying, it had been unable to trace the quarry owners.

Leader of High Peak Borough Council, Caitlin Bisknell, said: "People come from all over - Stoke, Stockport, Liverpool and we've even heard of people coming from Holland.

Image caption The lagoon is full of potentially harmful rubbish

"Why on earth they come here I don't know, because I know it looks nice but it really isn't, it's dangerous."

There are signs around the bright blue water - which gets it colour from the caustic chemicals in the quarry stone - warning people that it can cause skin irritations and stomach problems.

The signs also state that there are vehicles, rubbish and dead animals in the water.

Ian Hurst, from Buxton Mountain Rescue, said the area was very dangerous.

"People are arriving at this site in droves," said Mr Hurst.

"We need to get something sorted before we are dealing with a fatal incident here."

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