Some great news with a trial of Phoslock to begin next week! This trial will involve a whole lake treatment, not just a small trial area.This could not of come at a better time with the latest water quality results indicating an increase of algae in all areas with the lake possibly heading for closure in the near future.
Phoslock has been highlighted by Griffith Uni as one of the key products to offer possible improvements to the condition of LHM. It should be noted that due to many variable factors, there is no guarantee that this treatment will provide the desired results.
The treatment will involve the spreading of Phoslock to the surface of the lake by boat. The treatment will take time to settle to the bottom. As a result the lake will be closed all next week and signs will be erected notifying the public.
The challenge now is to implement an effective Management Plan to ensure that any improvements are maintained to provide long term improvements in water quality for the benefit of all lake users.
From experience, nothing every happens quickly in Council!
Council should be commended for getting this major treatment implemented before the next algae outbreak with special mention to Paul Taylor, Steven Mc Veigh and Darren Ford for getting this treatment over the line in a very short time fame.
The long term Option Report due in September has been under review by Council for some time with the report to be made available to the public shortly via the Lake Hugh Muntz Page on Councils Website.
To date, there is no notification of what action is planned, more importantly no time line for implementation.
With less that one month away from Summer, the concern is that the lake will suffer a third consecutive outbreak with no action by Council.
We will advise when the report is available and any updates.
After an incredibly long 9 months LHM is now open. Grab your swimmers and tell your friends to get down and enjoy this fantastic community asset while you can!
We are currently waiting on the release of the Long Term Options report due in September and more importantly what Council intend to implement and will advise when received.
Official statement from Council below;
As a major stakeholder in Lake Hugh Muntz, the City would like to advise you of the following;
Water quality sampling has confirmed that blue-green algae levels at Lake Hugh Muntz (LHM) have returned to acceptable levels in accordance with the National Guidelines.
Weekly water quality testing has confirmed that both the algae and toxin concentrations have declined and are no longer at a level where they pose a risk to public health.
Whilst the algal bloom has declined significantly, the species of algae that has persisted in LHM (Chrysosporum ovalisporum) is known to produce spores. These spores can often remain dormant in the sediment of a waterbody and become activated when weather conditions become favourable, especially during warmer temperatures. This may result in another algal bloom in the near future as temperatures increase during summer.
Whilst temporary warning signage has been removed from the lake, please continue to exercise caution and avoid contact with water:
- where scums or floating debris are visible
- that looks discoloured, murky or smells unpleasant
- near stormwater drains
- for up to three (3) days after heavy rainfall
- if you have an open wound or infection
Routine water quality sampling will continue at LHM to monitor conditions. Should conditions change, further advice will be provided.
Further information can be found online cityofgoldcoast.com.au/lakehughmuntz
Council are currently testing a real time water quality monitoring system in Lake Hugh Muntz. If the unit can provide regular, consistent data over time, this will be invaluable in not only mapping changes in water quality, but in measuring the effectiveness of possible future solutions implemented.
The unit is currently installed in the West side of the lake which has some serious problems with no oxygen at depth and high nutrient levels. It is important that the unit is not disturbed so please keep clear!
The short term report by Griffith Algae experts has been released and is available to the public on Councils Website http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/environment/lake-hugh-muntz-13995.html
The summary from the report concludes;
“There is high uncertainty of a positive outcome for many options, time is required for engineering development (e.g., a boat designed to distribute hydrogen peroxide) in some cases and/or permits are required by State and Commonwealth authorities for discharge to the canal”
Council have confirmed, NO implementation regarding the Short Term Options.
With no action planned, a lot is dependent on the Long Term Options Report Due in 2 weeks!
Urgent action is required by Council to implement Long Term Options that are effective and in a timely manner preferably before the next bloom. Permanent damage as has already occurred with the loss of most, possibly all underwater aquatic plants. Any delays are going to increase difficulty, increase time frame and cost of lake restoration.
Without intervention, and with the rapid increase and severity of past algal blooms, the trend is for an even bigger bloom this year. No one can predict the outcome but the question has to be asked “are we heading for an ecological disaster”
Clearly the lake cannot enter a Third year of algal blooms without Action!
After 8 long months of closure finally some positive news!
Toxic levels have decreased below the trigger level for closure but the lake will remain closed until several good water quality samples are received. It is important to not enter the lake until the Lake Closed signs are removed.
The follow graph has been provided Courtesy of GCCC
It is also important that you do not enter the water where surface blooms are present. These blooms are the concentration of highly toxic algae gathered over hundreds of meters of surface water by prevailing wind conditions.
Council are in the process of updating water quality trends and other information on the councils website which can be found below;
Residents and Users “Still in the Dark” with no Water Quality Updates.
Recently the lake has shown some signs of recovery with improvement in water clarity as we move out of Winter. This has been the normal pattern before the re-growth of algae clouds the water. With the swimming season about to commence, users and user groups want the be kept informed on water quality and the possibility of the lake opening.
Despite requests for open and transparent communication with Council and numerous requests for 3 monthly water quality updates, to date none have been made available or even a timeframe.
The Care Group will again request updates on the last water quality results since the last update in May.
With the lake in poor condition, it is now more important than ever to minimise impact on water quality.
Please follow link below and review newsletter on what YOU can do to help!
LHM Newsletter Winter 2018
The LHM Care Group have raised concern with the GCCC over the delay in the Short Term Option Report that was due in June. The report is to look at the feasibility of short term options to improve the resilience of the lake to future algal blooms.
With no water quality updates for nearly 3 months and the algal blooms continuing through winter, residents and users are speculating that the lake may not even open this Spring/Summer!
A great deal of hope is being placed on the possible implementation of these options and timing is critical. Any treatment needs to be in place before the algae starts multiplying in the warmer months.
GCC Council advises the delay is due to the complexities of the lab work, with the Griffith Uni Report being available to Council Shortly.
Council are striving to meet the action plan timeline and are prioritising finding a solution to the current state of the algal bloom.
The Long Term Options Report is still scheduled for September.
Despite progressing well into winter with cooler water conditions far from ideal for Algal growth, the lake still remains closed. With the last water quality update 2 months ago, the Care Group have requested regular updates every 3 months to keep the public informed on current conditions and any improvements.
Council have advised they are working towards providing regular water quality trends in the near future that will be updated on the Councils Lake Hugh Muntz Webpage
Winter/early spring is normally the time the lake “gasps for air” from the ongoing Algal blooms but the current brown, cloudy water conditions are not promising.
The Short term Options Report from Griffith Algae Experts due shortly may offer some hope for improving conditions.