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 mismanagement and neglect. A commitment so strong, that it took widespread community outrage to even consider doing anything to improve the water quality of this unique community asset!
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 past/present highlight the appalling degradation!
There is currently NO confirmed action plan and NO confirmed timetable for any action.
Clearly enough is enough!
The Care Group request that all residents and users voice their concern directly with Council and DEMAND IMMEDIATE ACTION!
What can be done?
In July 2019 the ONLY action recommended by Griffith was sand capping followed by Phoslock. Tests for this could of been done in a few months and the installation expedited to reduce further decline. This should of been rubber stamped and put to Council for immediate approval.
Instead, Council have decided to wait a whole year for yet another report – even though this is the only option!
Follow the link to Councils LHM Email and/or ring the Council directly on 1300465326 and raise your concerns on the appalling condition of this community asset!
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.
Lake Hugh Muntz has again been closed due to high algae levels.
As this is now the 4th consecutive annual closure, clearly the lake is approaching a critical point of no return. Urgent action needs to be a priority.
The current unedited Google Earth photo highlights the appalling condition of LHM compared to other waterways.
The unchecked deterioration of the lake over many years has led to the current critical state of this once unique community asset. With the lakes ongoing poor condition, unfortunately it seems these closures will continue.
The photo below from 2012 shows how long the ongoing deterioration of the lake has been an issue, compared to other waterways.
The latest water quality results show an increase in Algae levels after the weekend rain.
There are many contributing factors that can cause an increase but based on observations over the weekend, clearly ongoing Catchment Management Issues are having a negative effect on water quality. Considering many of these issues have remained unresolved for years, the question has to be asked “why hasn’t Council taken action” to reduce the negative impact of these problems?
The Care Group will continue to raise these issues and have produced a video (below)highlighting just some of the ongoing problems.
The recent downpour again highlights the ongoing problem of lawn clippings flowing directly from parks into the lake.
Despite numerous requests to Council to take action to reduce the inflow, no effective action has been taken. How long have we been asking? 9 long years!
In 2011, Cr Sarroff indicated in a newsletter that Council are looking into Vegetation Buffers, unfortunately we are still waiting!
Vegetation buffers strategically placed in parks and along the foreshore have the potential to slow down water flow, reduce erosion and capture clippings. It is important that both Council and residents maintain lawn in a good condition and mow with a catcher.
Check out the video below showing just a sample of clippings now polluting our lake!
3 weeks ago the Care Group requested a meeting directly with park officials due to lack of action by Engineering in addressing numerous issues raised.
In April 2019, Engineering were asked to investigate the issues highlighted in the recent rain event with a video supplied in the post Catchment Management Issues -Parks with no action.
At the Stakeholder meeting in September 2019, again issues relating to lack of even basic park maintenance were raised and ignored with no action.(further info below)
10 months on, these same issues are still causing severe problems in the current rain event. large amounts of lawn clippings and soil have ended up in the lake. It is the soil washed from the shore that adds Phosphorus to the lake waters and threatens to compromise the effect of the 100k Phoslock treatment.
Basic Park Maintenance Neglected.
Numerous large trees have been removed from several areas around the lake. Not only have no suitable replacement trees been planted but not even basic maintenance has been carried out. large areas of bare dirt have been left exposed for months waiting for the next heavy rain. See the negative effects of erosion into the lake that could of been avoided!