The Care Group have inquired why the lake has remained closed after having readings below the red trigger closure levels for the last 2 months. Council advised that Toxin levels are also tested and are still above the recommendation for primary contact.
The concern was raised that potential users of the lake could make a false judgment based on the incomplete information in the GCCC graph and prematurely start using the lake without knowing the consequences. The Care Group have asked that the toxin levels be added to the graph and remind users not to swim in the lake while closure signs are present.
Graph Courtesy of GCCC.
The Care group prepared an open letter to Councillor Young outlining what we would like to see progress over the next 4 years.
Councillor Young has replied outlining Councils stance.
The Care group will be sending a detailed reply but in summary;
The Care Group objectives are made to address key issues effecting the long term health and recovery. Key issues that Council and Griffith have failed to address or even acknowledge. We also support an evidence-based approach and expect that key issues receive the appropriate scientific research that they deserve.
We have no issues with Council rejecting our suggestions provided they have better solution!
Simply doing nothing in resolving key problems is not going to resolve the Critical Condition of Lake Hugh Muntz.
Please follow links to documents below:
Care Group Open Letter to Councillor Young.
Councillor Young’s Letter of Reply.
The Care Group have requested an investigation into record algae levels after rain events in late January. The rain events coincided with significant inputs of dirty water from the canal. Unfortunately, neither Council or Griffith tested the inflow of water during the recent rains. Council however have been testing the canal water at specific high tide events and advised of high nitrogen levels (red arrow)
The graph shows the average yearly concentrations in LHM which are well above the Water Quality Objectives (dotted red line) for the Nerang Catchment including LHM.
No doubt, nutrient levels in the lake would also be elevated to a certain degree but ongoing and future works including gully baskets, Phoslock applications and catchment management improvements are all aimed at controlling and reducing nitrogen levels toward the water quality objectives of a healthy lake.
The concern is that unknown inputs from the canal including high nitrogen levels are going to reduce the effectiveness of any lake based improvements.
Clearly the unknown inputs of dirty, high nutrient and possibly polluted waters from the canal may not beneficial to the long term health of the lake. We request further investigation of lake inflows to determine the suitability of a one-way valve.
A quick link has been added to the LHM page for easy access to the latest algae results. Simply go to lakehughmuntz.com.au and click the link.
While the results are trending down, the lake unfortunately still remains closed over the Easter period.
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.
Pauline’s commitment to LHM can be found Here
If you need to raise issues on a Councillor level, Pauline can be contacted on;
Phone: 07 5581 6382
Fax: 07 5581 7640
Mobile: 0475 677 181
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.
Email: email@example.com Phone: 1300465326
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.
Zac Revere LHM Commitment
Cathy Osborne LHM Commitment
Pauline Young LHM Commitment
The current state of the lake!
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.
Div 12 Candidates;
Councillor Pauline Young: Email: Pauline@paulineyoung.com.au Phone: 0482 626 499
Cathy Osborne: Email: email@example.com
Zac Revere: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 0458 536 684
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”