17 February 2011

Major lake closures and the jet shut down

| johnboy
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The National Capital Authority has announced they’ve shut large sections of the lake and the Captain Cook Memorial Jet.

The following areas of Lake Burley Griffin are currently closed to primary contact recreation (swimming, diving and windsurfing):

— West Basin (extreme blue-green algae alert)
— Black Mountain Beach (extreme blue-green algae alert)
— Yarramundi Reach / Weston Park West (extreme blue-green algae alert)
— Tarcoola Reach / Weston Park East (high blue-green algae alert)
— East Basin (high blue-green algae alert)
— Lotus Bay (high bacterial alert)

The Captain Cook Memorial Jet in Central Basin will also be turned off as winds can create fine mists and cause jet water to travel to areas around the lake, potentially exposing the public to algae either through direct contact with, or inhalation of, the mist.

The water is closed to primary contact recreation as exposure to this level of blue-green algae, or bacteria carries an increased risk of adverse health effects.

Secondary contact (rowing, fishing, boating and canoeing) is still allowed, showering after leaving the water is recommended.

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“Not to mention that QBN sewage treatment plan feeds into the lake as well.”

That seems like a tad of an overstatement. During the QBN floods there was a sewage spill, which the authorities warned us of. That was a freak event. There was a Fyshwick sewage treatment spill about 10 years ago. So about a once in a decade occurence and usually they are small spills.

The algae situation does annoy me too as we normally go for swims in the lake daily when it’s hot weather. I wish more would be done to prevent this, which I assume would involve trying to reduce the amount of fertilisers and similar that flows into the lake. Not sure how this would be done though. But I’d like to see at least an effort made to investigate options.

But I do not get so many Canberrans complaining about the lake water being “dirty”. I grew up in Western Europe and as kids we swam in water that was only a grade better than sewage. We are very lucky here!

… and Captains Flat, and Jerangle… and whoever else is upstream. And those downstream from Canberra get the lot plus add their own.

As the population increases, this is what happens.

Not to mention that QBN sewage treatment plan feeds into the lake as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if their holding ponds were inundated by the river during the past few heavy rain events.

Ever greater numbers of people putting more stuff into the lake = more of these incidents. All the runoff from the suburbs, fertilisers and other nutrients are great for algae.

luther_bendross8:42 am 18 Feb 11

What an f’ing shitfight. Once again, LBG is covered is toxic crap; we seem to see messages like this far more than ones saying “Lake’s open! Enjoy it!”. Worst. Lake. Ever. Just sayin.

Apart from the obvious measure regarding barley straw, I’m wondering whether piping the turd-nutrient enriched waters of the treatment plant out below scrivener might reduce the occurrence and severity of these events.

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