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Hope for sick lake


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Cr Mel Congerton says he hasn’t seen the water level as low as this in the 12 years he’s lived in the area. Cr Mel Congerton says he hasn’t seen the water level as low as this in the 12 years he’s lived in the area.

THE City of Swan will create an artificial wetland at Ballajura’s Emu Lake in an attempt to solve the lake’s ongoing algal bloom problem.

Nutrient run-off entering the lake overland and through stormwater drains has contributed to the blooms.

Despite the City implementing several remedial measures during the past decade, the problem has persisted.

Mayor Charlie Zannino said construction of a 5800sq m wetland at the northern end of the lake would begin this month.

He said the City would plant native rushes in the wetland to remove excess nitrogen and phosphorous from the lake.

A nutrient-binding material would be installed below water to accelerate the nutrient uptake.

“The constructed wetland will be installed just south of Lakeshore Park, at the northern end of the lake, as the majority of the nutrient-rich groundwater and stormwater enters Emu Lake here,” Cr Zannino said.

“The constructed wetland will help filter excessive nutrients from incoming water.”

Ballajura ward councillor Mel Congerton said he hoped the lake would be back to normal within five years.

“Most modern lakes are self-flushing, whereas this is contained, so there’s no way for the nutrients to flush off,” he said.

“We don’t have swans here anymore – we just don’t have the birdlife we used to.

“We’re hoping that with this nutrient-catchment set-up, we’ll start seeing some results.”

Cr Congerton urged residents to limit their use of fertilisers and to use phosphorus-free detergents.

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a small yet deep part to the lake will also reduce the sunlights impact and assist natural filtration processing

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Friday 30 Jan 2015

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