Latest Water Quality Update

The latest water quality results have been released with the updated graph below. After nearly 3 months of closure and the continuing cooler weather, there is still no clear downward trend and no sign of the lake opening in the near future!

Is Salt Water Killing Lake Hugh Muntz?

The Care Group have requested Council to investigate the loss of all underwater aquatic plants from the shoreline about 1 year ago. Why?

THERE CAN BE NO LAKE RECOVERY WITHOUT AQUATIC VEGETATION!

In 2013,  a similar loss of all aquatic plants raised concern over the deteriorating condition of the lake. Council was then asked to investigate with no advice received on what was causing the problem.

The aquatic vegetation slowly returned but struggled to grow until the recent loss. It is no coincidence the decline in vegetation is an important factor in the decline in water quality. If Council are serious about turning around the decline, they have to include aquatic plant recovery in any plan.

 

Ongoing Concern Over Terms and Conditions

Please see response from Paul Taylor and our reply below;

Care Group Reply.

Hi Paul,

Thank your for your email. In response to your statement highlighted red in your reply;

  • Our records show WE NEVER RECEIVED AN AGENDA! Could you please confirm this is correct.
  • In an email the Care Group received it stated “please review the Terms of Reference for the LHMSG (attached) and please respond confirming your acceptance stating your groups representative by return email by 6th March 2019.

Clearly there was no opportunity to seek clarification at the meeting as a condition of attending the meeting was to accept the terms!

The Care Group would like to request a meeting with Council to clarify terms.

As we have not met with Council since June 2018, it would be a great opportunity to get some updates on lake issues including;

Progress on Phoslock Trial.

Progress on field trials of Hydrogen Peroxide.

Update on our request for investigation on loss of all aquatic plants along shoreline.

Lake Health Water Quality Updates. We have no updates since March Last year!

 

Paul Taylors Response.

Thank you for your email in regard to the Lake Hugh Muntz Stakeholder Group (LHMSG) and in particular the concerns you raised about the associated Terms of Reference.

Let me say from the outset there has never been any intention to supplant or sideline your Care Group which performs an important and valuable role in the community.

Rather, this new stakeholder group was created as a collaborative forum involving the City, the Lake Hugh Muntz Care Group, known user groups and external research bodies to facilitate an open and transparent exchange of information between these groups.

Additionally, it was envisaged the LHMSG initiative would provide an opportunity for a number of community groups interested in Lake Hugh Muntz to learn more about the characteristics of the lake and the way the lake responds to varying environmental conditions.

Given the proposal was to conduct meetings biannually, ongoing management updates from the City in relation to work or initiatives completed in the past six months and any relevant proposed works and initiatives to be undertaken in the coming six months would also be discussed.

In instances where stakeholder groups are established, the usual course of action is for a Terms of Reference (TOR) document to be prepared by the City. TORs provide guidance and working arrangements around agreed roles and functions of all parties involved.

One of the aims of the TOR was to ensure any proposed outgoing key messages relating to the LHMSG were accurate, taking into consideration the overall discussion undertaken at stakeholder level. As all stakeholders contribute during the meeting, this was to ensure any messaging reflected discussions or proposed actions minuted at the meeting.

As you’re aware, a copy of the TOR was distributed to all LHMSG representatives affording sufficient time for the document to be considered prior to discussion at the first meeting held earlier this week. The TOR was one of the items listed on the meeting agenda enabling all representatives in attendance to provide comment or seek clarification on any sections of the TOR. In light of the concerns raised by the Care Group, the TOR will be listed for further discussion at the next LHMSG meeting.

In addition to the above, I understand City officers have been in regular contact with you with a view to encouraging the group’s involvement in this initiative which has been designed to provide an overall benefit for the future management of the lake.

From feedback provided by stakeholder groups in attendance, the first LHMSG meeting was very well received.

Taking the above into consideration, it was unfortunate the Lake Hugh Muntz Care Group was not represented at the meeting. I am hopeful the Group’s previous decision will be reconsidered and look forward to your attendance at future meetings.

If you have any further enquiries in this regard, Steven McVeigh (5667 3893) the City’s Senior Environmental Engineer Lakes and Waterways, would be happy to assist

Catchment Management Issues – Parks

Unfortunately due to the Care Group lockout of Council Meeting due to terms and conditions we were unable to present a video on park issues for comment at the recent meeting with Park Officials.

The Care Group have requested Councils review on problems highlighted in the video below to ensure effective measures are taken to reduce runoff into the lake and that the current works in parks cover these problems.

ISSUES

  • Unsuitable Planting. Past attempts at covering bare soil have largely been unsuccessful – it is pointless returfing where growing conditions are unsuitable or where the grass will not survive dry weather. Plants offer a better solution.

 

  • Fixed Schedule Mowing. Mowing contracted on a regular schedule quite often results in lawn being cut while suffering in drought conditions – the lawn is effectively “mowed to death” increasing bare patches. Mowing should be conducted on an as needed basis.
  • Mowing With No Catcher. This results in clippings washed directly into the lake as well as clogging drain filters. Mowing with catcher has 2 advantages; Reduction in waste washing into the lake and removal of nutrients (locked up in lawn clippings) from the catchment area. Residents remove tons of garden waste every month via the green waste bins.

 

 

 

 

 

POSSIBLE TRIAL?

If mowing the whole area of parks with a catcher is cost prohibitive, then leave a strip of lawn adjacent to lake unmowed to act as a barrier to filter runoff. The smaller area can then be mowed with a catcher depending on growth to remove clippings AND collected material. This process could also be used in parks to filter runoff to roads as well and to aid in water retention.