Right to Information Request – Water Quality Results

Out of desperation, the Care Group have requested  the release of water quality results from Council using the Freedom of Information Act. Not that we need results to know that the lake is in bad condition, but the results may reveal HOW bad!

This action had to be taken after waiting 7 long months for results with no reason given!

Lets hope this is successful.

Water Quality Update – Lake Closure Due to Algae Outbreak

I have just received an update from Council on the condition of LHM. This council managed asset has now been closed for 1 month with on the latest tests indicating that the Algae levels are still increasing. The lake will remain closed for the foreseeable future until the levels decline.

With the possibility of increased toxins with the ongoing decline, it is important THAT YOU DO NOT SWIM IN THE LAKE!

 

 

Ongoing Delays in Water Quality Results

In July last year, the Care Group in discussions with Council requested water quality results to determine the extent of degradation and trends. This was in response to the poor lake condition after the first Algae outbreak.

Despite after 6 months and numerous emails and phone calls, water quality results and summary of lake condition have not been supplied. With the latest outbreak, requests for water quality updates on Algae have also not been provided. The Care Group   planned to update users on algae trending so we have an idea how long the lake will be closed during this high use period.

With the ongoing poor condition of the lake, residents and users need to know the “facts” on the ongoing degradation of this Council Managed Asset.

Within walking distance of LHM is another freshwater lake. This lake is in a similar environment in a highly built up area, street drains running into lake and minimal flushing.

When comparing the recent images below, the question has to be asked “Why has our lake been left to deteriorate to this condition”

 

 

 

 

Lake Closed Due to Algae Outbreak for a Second Time In a Year!

For the second time in 2017, Lake Hugh Muntz has been closed for high levels of Algae!

In the 35 year history of this swimming lake, these closures are unprecedented with the last recorded algae outbreak way back in 2006!

The lake closure could not of come at a worse time, with many users looking forward using the lake during the hot summer months, not to mention disruption to Vital Commonwealth games triathlon training.

Based on the outbreak earlier in the year, the closure could be for several months. The Care group have asked for regular updates on readings and will update users.

The Care Group are still waiting for water quality results requested back in July to determine lake trends and will advise when received. The extent of the outbreak can be seen in the photo below with the whole lake turning a green colour!

 

Update From Meeting With Council Officials

An informal meeting was held with Councils Engineering and Catchment Management officials last week to discuss ongoing issues relating to LHM. It became very clear that before we can progress with discussions on Primary Contact, Water Quality etc, that long term analysis of collected water quality data is required. It was agreed by Council to provide the results but there will be some delay as the data will have to be manually produced. The Care Group will advise on results when received.

LHM Committee Response to Councils Letter to Residents

To Concerned Lake Hugh Muntz Community Residents and User Groups

Response to Councillor Taylor’s Letter (29/06/17) to Residents

about the  Lake Hugh Muntz Care Group (Care Group) Newsletter.

What is in dispute.

Councillor Taylor has confirmed in his letter that Council is not prepared to maintain Lake Hugh Muntz as a “PRIMARY CONTACT” recreation water quality and argued that to achieve this level of water quality would “require filtration or chlorination” to achieve “PRIMARY CONTACT” status and that this “is not practical for a range of reasons”.

To be clear, the Care Group – with its substantial community of supporters including many regional surf life saving clubs, sporting clubs and community organisations – does not accept either Council’s or Councillor Taylor’s view and intent that Lake Hugh Muntz should not and cannot, for practical reasons, be maintained substantially as a “PRIMARY CONTACT” water body.

Because the lake is such an important primary use community asset, the Care Group and the community are of the single minded view that the objective of Council must be that LAKE HUGH MUNZ IS MAINTAINED AS A PRIMARY CONTACT WATER ASSET FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE COMMUNITY.

Further, the Care Group has received independent expert advice that there are technical solutions available other than chlorination or filtration that could – with appropriate Council support – be considered to improve and potentially restore the water quality of the lake to pre 2007 levels.

Next Steps.

The Care Group and key user group representatives will be seeking an urgent meeting with Council in August to request that;

  • Council formally classifies the designation of the lake (set out in the Lake Management Plan 2007) to be a PRIMARY CONTACT water body and suitable for swimming and related recreational activities at the request, and for the benefit, of the local community; AND
  • Council seriously and expeditiously investigates all available technical solutions to returning the lake on a sustainable basis to be suitable for use as a PRIMARY CONTACT water body.

Mermaid SLSC Highlight the Importance to Maintain LHM for Primary Contact

Lake Hugh Muntz is an important training facility for our Nippers that learn the skills of swimming and board paddling in the Lake.  It is vital our Nippers as young as 7 years old,  begin to develop their confidence in a safe and controlled environment.   For these young kids, learning their skills is dependent on confidence and the flat water of  Lake Hugh Muntz is the best facility we have to help develop this.    Fear of marine life and large waves are not present at Lake Hugh Muntz and our kids have developed their skills here over several years.    This is a rare and valuable asset for all residents which must be protected.

It is the children such as those from Mermaid SLSC and other Surf Life Saving Clubs that are the future of Queensland Life Saving and protect Council Beaches.   I’m sure the Gold Coast Council is serious about protecting our valuable long term asset in Tourism.   If so, the provision and maintenance of a safe facility for our  future Lifesavers to learn their initial skills, is a sound investment.

Regards

JAC Mermaid Beach SLSC

Northcliffe Surf Lifesaving Club Breaks the Ice

Despite one of the coldest mornings this year, Northcliffe SLSC hits the water for their regular board/swim sessions.

Its important to “mix it up” with training in both surf and flat water so LHM is ideal. It also provided a sheltered area with the wind blowing early on the coast.

Some of the athletes were still hesitant to put their head under for the first time!