Gold Coast City Council have closed the lake due to an algae outbreak. The last time the lake was closed was back in 2011 for bacterial concerns after heavy rains. The last known algae outbreak was in April 2006 and high readings in December 2007.
It is disappointing that improvements including Leaf Litter Drain Baskets and Floating Reed Beds to reduce the nutrient levels have not resulted in maintaining the lake in a healthy condition. The current extraordinary weather conditions of long term lack of rain coupled with high temperatures may have been the trigger for this outbreak.
The Care Group are awaiting water quality results for last year and will be requesting analysis of the current situation to see how this closure can be prevented in the future. These results will be communicated via a Care Group Newsletter as soon as the information is received.
See below for the Official Council Statement;
The City of Gold Coast has closed Lake Hugh Muntz due to the presence of high levels of blue-green algae.
The algal bloom was detected by the City and in conjunction with the Gold Coast Public Health Unit, has taken the step to shut the lake to swimming.
As you’re aware algal bloom outbreaks can occur naturally in the city’s lake systems, especially in the summer months. They are usually due to a combination of changes to outside temperature and water turnover.
Regular users of the lake have been contacted and signage has been placed at public access areas. Residents have been notified to avoid contact with the water. This includes keeping pets away.
Blue-green algae is a type of cyanobacteria that has characteristics of algae and bacteria. Under certain environmental conditions, blue-green algae concentrations in water can rapidly increase and form visible blooms or ‘scums’.
Not all blue-green algae is toxic and species that are toxic do not always produce toxins. However, in order to minimise risk it is requested that residents refrain from:
- consuming seafood such as fish
- water contact with skin
- allowing animals to enter the lake or drink the water; and
- irrigating with lake waterThe City will continue to monitor the water and communicate with residents when water quality recovers.In the meantime, residents should direct their enquiries to 1300 465 326.
Regards: Paul Taylor.