Lake Hugh Muntz – Security Warning

There has been reports of 2 individuals casing or scoping waterfront properties taking photos etc from the lake side. One of the individuals was easily recognised with bleach blonde hair on the top of his head. With the low level of the lake at the moment, security on the lake side of properties is compromised. In the past, SUP’s and other water craft have also been stolen so I would suggest securing all water craft and ensure your properties are secure at all times!

If you should happen to see anyone suspicious accessing properties from the waterside  please report this to your local police station.

One important note: Council are surveying the shoreline all next week and will hopefully be wearing Council uniforms!

Council Update – Possible Algae Outbreak.

Please see update from Council indicating a possible 4th consecutive year of lake closures due to algae outbreaks!

We would like to use our first update of 2020 to remind you that the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a hotter than normal summer. This may have implications for water quality in Lake Hugh Muntz. It is difficult to predict the timings of algal blooms and how long they will last.  We heard from Griffith University at our latest Lake Hugh Muntz Stakeholder Meeting that lower than average rainfall and higher temperatures may increase the likelihood of a blue-green algae bloom this season. While the City monitors water quality weekly, you should still be on the lookout for changes in water quality and not enter the water if you notice the following;

  • scums across the surface of the lake, or
  • changes in water colour.

Exposure to blue-green toxins can occur through;

  • swallowing affected water
  • putting your head under water (swimming, canoe capsizing), or
  • direct water contact with the skin, including sensitive areas such as the ears, eyes, mouth and nose.

Cyanobacteria Biovolume – 2 January 2020

The below graph compares the average cyanobacteria biovolume at four test locations over the same time period (Nov-Jan) for the last few years. The graph shows that in previous years (the yellow and blue lines) cyanobacteria volumes generally increase during this time of year. Not all blue green algae are toxic and the City monitors for both Total Blue Green Algae (BGA) and Potentially Toxic Algae (PTA), providing health warnings depending on the biovolume of both types.

Current Water Level

The City has received a number of enquiries regarding the current low water level in the lake. The lake has experienced low levels in the past, during the millennium drought and during a period of low rainfall in 2007. The lake is topped up during rainfall events so with the predicted dry summer season, lake levels may remain low for some time.

Monitoring survey of the Lake Hugh Muntz foreshore

The City is preparing to carry out a monitoring survey of the Lake Hugh Muntz foreshore while water levels are low. City Surveyors will be collecting data around the whole of the lake including the foreshore area adjacent to private properties.

The works are scheduled to begin on Monday 13/1/2020 and will be completed by Friday 17/1/2020.

Griffith University Research

This month Griffith University will be on the water in a research boat undertaking a water quality and sediment survey. The survey will provide further data about phosphorus levels in the sediment and water column during the warmer months.  This information will be used to help assess how some management options will perform against algal blooms.

More information about the lake can be found on our website, cityofgoldcoast.com.au/lakehughmuntz. For enquiries about the lake, please email us at lakehughmuntz@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

Lake Hugh Muntz Will be THE Election Issue for Division 12

With the recent electoral boundary change, LHM is now in Division 12 for the upcoming Council elections in March. We need a Councillor that will represent the local community and support the community wishes to save this unique and valuable community asset.

The Care Group will be canvassing all Candidates on their commitment and plan to get some long overdue action to reverse the years of decline under Councils Management.

We will be posting each candidate’s plans for the future of LHM and sharing on social media to ensure that the general public can make an informed decision on the best candidate for the electorate and LHM.

Summary of Recent Meeting with Council

Recently the Care group representative, key user groups and residents met with Council to get an update on the progress of lake issues with summary below;

  • Water Quality. No indications that the lake will NOT be closed again this summer. Timing and duration of algal blooms difficult to predict with high algae levels coming out of winter.
  • Action Plan Timeline Released with NO Action Plan. Griffith are continuing testing with the report on solutions due in July but no timeline beyond that. With the proposed solutions not delivering improvements for the first year and a half, the concern is how long until we can expect any improvement?

The care group will be asking for an idea on timeframe for the following;

  • Council to undertake multi criteria assessment on report recommendations including feasibility, cost etc. How long?
  • Funding for proposed works. Is funding available for proposed works? If not when? With the report due in July after the annual budget will action be delayed another year due to no dedicated funding?
  • Implementation of sand capping. How Long?
  • Griffith Report indicates monitoring effectiveness of sand before a possible Phoslock treatment. How long for monitoring?

Care group have again raised concerns over no consideration over the loss of underwater aquatic vegetation and no action over the severe stratification issues. These problems need to be addressed to ensure long term recovery and health of the lake.

 

 

 

 

Reed Bed Damage

Please see notification below by Council on issues with reed bed off Morialta Park. I believe the boom net is to reduce the effect of wind/waves while investigation is carried out.

The City was notified by a resident yesterday afternoon that one of the Floating Reed Beds (FRB) had come apart. Maintenance crews were on site this morning to assess the structure. You may have noticed this maintenance crew expecting the FRBs every month, undertaking weed maintenance and replanting when necessary.

At this stage it is unknown what has occurred to cause the FRB from coming apart however the resident did mention that there has been some very strong winds recently and this might have caused some strain on the structure.

The City requests that you keep clear of the structure and would like to remind you that users should keep off the FRBs in Lake Hugh Muntz.

Algae Levels Continue Upward Trend

The latest graph supplied courtesy of GCCC still shows a continuing trend upward in algae levels. The results are in line with the observations of increasing green scum that is now regularly appearing around the lake.

The Care Group have raised concern over no weekly updates since the 3rd of September with Council advising they are currently reviewing the graph format. The Care Group advised Council that the public should continue be kept regularly informed on the deteriorating  condition of the lake and requested that current graphs continue to be supplied while the format is under review.

Timeline for how long tests will take to determine future action will not be finalised until Mid November and will be presented at the next meeting with Council on the 18th of November.

Photo of Algae now appearing around foreshore.[20/09/19]

 

Latest Water Quality Results – Algae Levels Trending Upwards Already

The latest water quality results have been released and indicate an upward trend in algae concentration despite just coming out of winter! The good news is that toxic levels are still low.

With no action planed until finalisation of tests the question is how long until tests are completed?

The Care group have requested from Council a time line on when the tests are due for completion and most importantly, when is action planned.

Graph Courtesy GCCC

Phoslock Trial and Future Management Options Report

The Griffith Uni Phoslock Trial and Management Options were presented and reviewed at a meeting with Council last week.

See Care Group Summary of report and concerns.

See full report –Griffith Phoslock Trial and Evaluation of Management Option Report 

Key Points.

Phoslock Trial – little evidence of a reduction in phosphorus levels in system. The duration of the bloom reduced from 9 months to 6 months, but impossible to conclude whether this change was a response to Phoslock.

Management Options- Trial of sand capping of bottom, monitoring effectiveness, then followed up by Phoslock treatment proposed to reduce algal blooms.

No implementation in the near future until further testing to confirm the suitability of the proposed treatment.

Report indicates removal of Reed Beds would not reduce water quality.

Care Group Concerns.

NO clear timeline provided on completion of testing and implementation of Plan.

Proposed action has no effect on the serious stratification issues affecting the lake.

No action on reversing significant loss of underwater aquatic vegetation that is necessary for lake recovery.

Proposed Removal of Reed Beds would have a detrimental effect on wildlife that is already suffering under the poor condition of the lake.

 

 

Lake Finally Open After 6 Months of Closure

After 6 months of algal blooms, levels have finally declined enough to allow swimming. Clearly this lake is in critical condition. Urgent action is required to improve the situation. Despite repeated requests to Council for action, no plan is in place. In other words COUNCIL HAVE  NO PLANS TO FIX THE LAKE!

We will be meeting with Council in 2 weeks time to review the Phoslock trial and again raise the issue of inaction.

Latest Algae Graph Courtesy of GCCC below;

Lake Now Into 5th Month of Closure!

It has now been 5 long months that LHM has been unavailable to the public due to ongoing Algae blooms. The lake closed in mid January in the peak of the swimming season despite the application of Phoslock. While the levels are reducing, algal scum is still present along foreshore areas representing a continuing health hazard.

As we head into our 4th year of unprecedented consecutive closures, time is running out to implement effective treatment to prevent another algae outbreak and prevent even further damage to a lake that is in critically poor condition.

Unbelievably there is still NO plan.

Latest Graph Courtesy of GCCC.