Council Information Session This Saturday at Bel Air Park

Council have advised, at very short notice that they are holding an information session this Saturday at Bel Air Park 10am to 12pm. Council Officers and representatives from Alluvium consulting will be providing information on the current state of the lake, history and characteristics.

The question was asked “what is the prognosis or future of the lake” without effective treatment, with the reply indicating that  Algal blooms would continue, with increasing frequency and severity most likely

Clearly this outcome is not acceptable. With an alert issued last week for elevated algae levels, and increasing algal scum indicating yet another possible lake closure, this is a great opportunity to hear the issues and voice your concerns loud and clear to Council representatives over the lack of action, the lack of a plan and no timeline.

The recent photo highlights the ongoing poor state of the lake after 20 years of decline under Councils Management with the trend predicted to worsen over the coming years.

Request for Update Meeting with Council and Consultants

In December last year the Care Group met with Tony Webber and Council representatives to discuss options for improvement in water quality. The consultants have now collated and reviewed the available options so the Care Group have requested another meeting to discuss;

  • Proposed Feasible options.
  • Timeline for possible implementation.
  • Priority of the best options to make an improvement.

It was agreed at the last meeting that urgent action is required given the rapid decline in lake health and that Council are working towards possible action this summer to reduce the decline.

The Care Group will advise on outcome when response received.

 

Concern Over Floodwaters Further Deteriorating Lake Water Quality

The video shows the quality of water overflowing from Robina Waters into the canal adjacent to LHM. As a comparison, the photo shows the current water draining from LHM. Clearly the water quality in the lake looks far better than the canal.

A trial of a $6k one way valve could effectively isolate the lake from canal water and assist in the determination of the negative effects that these floodwaters have. As we wait for clarification from the consultants investigating feasibility and the rains continue, the big concern is further reduction in water quality from the canal system.

Swan Killed by Unsecured Dog

Unfortunately a swan has died after being attacked by a dog not secured by a lead. You only have to walk around the parklands on any day to find dog owners not obeying the law by letting their dogs run around unsecured.

The wildlife including swans around LHM have suffered enough due to loss of habitat and declining food sources as a result of the last 20 years of declining water quality. The last thing the dwindling wildlife population needs is the the harassed by dogs not secured.

Could you please spread the word that it is NOT OK to let your dog run around LHM without a lead and that increased patrols by officers will result in a fine to the minority group of dog owners that continue to place wildlife at risk.

Lake Continues to Track Just Below Closure Level

With favourable weather conditions resulting in regular rain and increased cloud cover, LHM has managed in most cases to stay below closure level. While this may seem a positive improvement, the lake is still a long way from being healthy.

The view from the air over the weekend clearly shows the devastating effect the algal bloom has on LHM compared to other waterways. The BIG green that has been ongoing for the best part of a decade.

The consultants who are looking into feasibility  “have worked through an number of options for Council”. Once this has been finalised, the next step is clearly effective and timely action by Council to implement.

Park Works Begin in Otway Park

Council are undertaking weed control and planting at Otway Park over the coming weeks. Works will include the removal of an undesirable aquatic plant species from the lake’s edge and planting of plants that contribute to water quality outcomes along the foreshore. The work will also focus on removing vines and reducing sediment runoff to improve general ecosystem health. Works to stabilise the large bare areas of soil are scheduled for the next financial year when further funds are available.

Lake is Now Open!

Looks like La Nina has had a positive effect. The increased cloud cover and the resultant drop in temperature and strong winds have resulted in algae levels dipping below closure level for the past few weeks. With the level still high any prolonged unfavourable conditions can result in another lake closure.

Council have now added toxin concentration to the graph. Previously the lake remained closed for several months although algae levels were below closure level. This addition will now give users the big picture on all aspects that can result in lake closure.

Where Would You Prefer to Swim?

Due to the relative isolation from the canal and river floodwaters, LHM offers better conditions than any other primary contact sites after heavy rain.

Please review the video of swimming locations taken on the same day in mid December and ask yourself “Where would you prefer to swim”

LHM can remain a reliable, safe swimming area as it has done for the past 30 years provided Council takes long overdue action in addressing algae and lake health issues including investigation into canal inputs into the lake.

 

Lake Closed – For the 5th Consecutive Year in a Row!

It’s hard to believe, but we now have 5 years of consecutive lake closures. Once again the lake has been degraded into a green mess for who knows how long resulting in further decline.

The community has patiently waited through endless reports and now a feasibility study of options. Clearly the time has come for a FIRM COMMITMENT FROM COUNCIL ON SIGNIFICANT ACTION BEFORE NEXT SUMMER!

The Care Group would like to call a very important meeting of all stakeholders at Bel-air Park on Sunday the 31st of January at 4PM to discuss the issues and get feedback.