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LAKE WYANAGAN WATER QUALITY UPDATE

Amidst concerns about the water quality at Lake Wyangan, Griffith City Council is assuring the community that it is working to ensure the water quality improves, with the Lake Wyangan & Catchment Officer rolling out a number of measures.

Griffith Mayor, Councillor John Dal Broi said since September 2018, Council has expanded the monitoring of the water quality at Lake Wyangan North, as well as increased the number of sample locations to improve the understanding of the variability within the lake.

“During the winter months sampling is undertaken monthly, however during the warmer months of the year Council increases this to fortnightly and if a Red Alert is issued, this is increased to weekly,” said Councillor Dal Broi.

“Although Lake Wyangan North was under Red Alert during December, very little toxic algae was recorded and has been below the recommended national guidelines since 2015.”

“Studies of Lake Wyangan North have found that non-toxic algae is in high abundance which is likely to be preventing the growth of toxic algae.”

In addition to increased water quality testing, Council are deploying real-time water quality loggers to monitor algal growth.

“This will assist Council implement a more rapid management response to Blue Green Algae outbreaks,” added Councillor Dal Broi.

Council is pleased to be working closely with Murrumbidgee Irrigation to develop effective and efficient options of delivering clean water into Lake Wyangan North.

Council’s Lake Wyangan & Catchment Officer, Tom Ryan said between January 29 and February 7, Council released 300 mega litres of water into the Lake.

“The purpose of adding the water was to increase dilution of water quality conditions conducive to algae outbreaks and provide a buffer against the hot weather conditions we were experiencing,” said Mr Ryan.

Mr Ryan noted that Council will shortly commence monitoring of the water flow from the catchment area into the Lake to determine how much sediment and nutrient runoff enters Lake Wyangan North.

“The aim of this activity is to identify the sources of contamination in the Lake and prevent further pollution and will ultimately lead to improved water quality,” he said.

“Council will also be meeting with renowned algae researchers and water managers on Wednesday 20 February to review and guide the future management of Lake Wyangan.”

In addition to improvements to the water quality, Council is working on a number of initiatives to improve the amenity of the foreshore and offshore at Lake Wyangan (North), including restoration activities to improve public safety.