Pauline Young has successfully returned as Councillor for Div12 after the recent elections. With the electoral boundary change, Lake Hugh Muntz is now part of her area and responsibility.
The Care Group are keen to work with Pauline to ensure all sporting groups including Nippers, Tri clubs, schools and the local community have a safe, reliable and healthy Lake to use for recreation and training now and more importantly into the future.
Due to community concern over record algae levels and the clear observations of declining water quality, the Care Group have requested investigation and feedback on the decline. Clearly the community need to be updated on the worsening condition of LHM.
The recent rains have resulted in significant discolouration of water compared to previous Algal blooms. Even past rainfall events of over 500mm in one month have not resulted is such deterioration.
In particular the Care Group have asked as part of the investigation if Council could advise;
Were water tests taken of inflow from the canal during the rainfall events and if so;
Were the inflows a significant factor in water quality decline?
Phoslock was chosen for a whole lake trial by Griffith after very successful testing using actual water taken from depth at LHM. Despite extra Phosphorus added to the water during the tests, Phoslock was successful in removing all Phosphorus below detectable limits.
The results from the field trial were vastly different – no change in Phosphorus on the surface of the lake and minor change in levels at depth. It is important to note, that in Griffith Phoslock Trial Report, there we no reasons given for the lack of change in Phosphorus. Was it due to insufficient quantities applied?
Clearly the trial did NOT release the full potential of this product or the full potential to make a difference to the water quality of LHM.
Griffith have confirmed the benefits of Phoslock by recommending a further application with sand capping. With no action confirmed, an unknown time frame for implementation and the ongoing decline, the Care Group request that a top up of Phoslock at effective levels to bind the existing Phosphorus be done ASAP.
The latest algae results this week clearly eclipse all previous readings confirming observations of continual decline and the urgent need for action!
If you don’t want to see the lake in this horrible state for years, then you need to raise your concerns directly with GCCC.
The Care group have asked Candidates for a statement on their commitment to the restoration of LHM. It is important moving forward, that LHM has a Councillor that’s supports the community over the next 4 years to make this lake a priority!
I request that you review and share candidate statements in the Div12 electorate so the voters can make an informed decision when attending the polls on the 28th of March.
The latest algae results show record levels over previous blooms giving a very clear indication of a continuing decline that has now stretched out over 4 consecutive years! Council’s commitment to achieving these results represents not weeks, not months, not years but decades of poor management.
It should come as no surprise that the water is now looking more like a swamp with long term residents commenting.
“This is the worst I have seen the lake in 30 years”
Images below of the present/past highlight the appalling degradation!
There is currently NO confirmed action plan and NO confirmed timetable for any action.
IT COULD BE YEARS BEFORE IMPROVEMENTS!
CLEARLY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
The Care Group request:
That you raise your concerns directly with the Div 12 candidates at the upcoming election to get their commitment on action for Lake Hugh Muntz. We need a Councillor to drive some long overdue reforms and make this community asset a priority!
That you register your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive updates on issues and become a member of the Save Lake Hugh Muntz FB page and share responses from Candidates.
The lake has turned a horrible brown/green colour after the recent rains with the latest algae levels still trending upwards. While ongoing catchment management problems have contributed, clearly the input from the canal has been a major contributor. The photo below shows the chocolate brown polluted water in the adjacent canal.
With no flow control, this dirty and most probably high nutrient water can enter the canal at any time given the right conditions. Last week the conditions were right with the canal levels swollen with floodwaters AND the highest king tide for 2020 forcing large amounts of canal water into the lake! The brown waters add to the already poor water visibility, reducing light to the struggling underwater aquatic vegetation further degrading the lake.
As the algal blooms again form along the shoreline the big question is “how much irreparable damage has this caused”
The Care Group have prepared a questionnaire that will be sent to all prospective candidates to determine their commitment to the restoration of Lake Hugh Muntz.
We will be posting responses from every candidate on our website and in social media so the voters can make an educated decision on who would be best to represent the community in relation to the restoration of LHM at the upcoming election.
We would appreciate that the general public, users and user groups share these responses on social media with their friends and user group members to raise awareness of the importance of LHM as an election issue in Division 12.
With considerable rainfall over the past 3 weeks, the lake has received a generous top up of fresh water from the catchment. Unfortunately, swollen waters of the canal coinciding with the highest king tide of the year has also forced considerable salt water back into the lake. The increase in salt over time has led to the significant loss of aquatic vegetation and the build-up of salt also reinforces the serious stratification.
A trial of a one way valve recommend by the care group, only costing approximately $5000 including installation, would stop salt water entering the lake. This was recommended a year and a half ago to council.
While Griffith are looking into this solution, valuable opportunities have been missed to test the effectiveness of the valve in overflow events. Had this trial been implemented sooner, further damage to the lake could have been prevented.
No one can deny the detrimental effects of lawn clippings from 12 Acres of parklands possibly flowing into the lake.
But there is a Zero cost temporary solution!
Simply by letting the grass grow as close as practical to the lake, in parklands flowing to streets and around drains can have a filtering effect. This is a temporary solution until proper planted vegetation buffers can be investigated and installed.
The Care Group would like to suggest a trial to Council but only if it has community support! It is envisaged the strip required would be approximately 1-2 m wide. The top of the grass buffer zone could be trimmed to improve the appearance.
Could you please let us know of your opinion by email or comment on this post – LHM Email
The Care Group met this week with parks officials to discuss ongoing Catchment Management issues. Problem areas were discussed with Parks advising works in 2 areas have been given a priority.
The Griffith Management Options report stated;
Most catchment-based actions represent long-term investments in lake health.
With effective treatment followed up with ongoing maintenance, these works will provide ongoing benefits into the future. The next challenge is the reduce the amount of lawn clippings entering the lake.
As a reminder, all residents in the catchment area need to ensure all landscaping is in good order to prevent erosion and to continue to mow with a catcher, disposing of clippings correctly.