Safety signs erected at Lake Monger due to algal bloom

Published on 21 February 2019

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Lake Monger in the Town of Cambridge is currently experiencing an algal bloom.

This type of algal bloom is common for this time of the year when there is a combination of elevated temperatures, very little rainfall and existing high levels of nutrients, within the lake, that all combine to change the physical composition of the lake water.

The bloom has turned the lake water a green colour and it is also emits a 'musty' or 'grassy' smell. Some algae have the potential to cause health issues including skin rashes, eye irritation and redness, ear-aches and itchiness if a person comes into direct contact with the water, so warning signs have been placed at various locations around the lake.

The health of the birds at the lake will also be closely monitored and the Town will be working closely with wildlife carers and local vets to ensure birds receive the best possible medical attention and rehabilitation, should this be required. Algal blooms are an ongoing waterways environmental management issue with no short-term solutions.

The Town of Cambridge has been working with authorities such as the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and has developed the Lake Monger Rehabilitation and Management Plan.

A number of initiatives from the plan have been implemented with the following outcomes:

• Improved water quality by reducing the inflow of heavy metals and sediments/nutrients entering the lake;

• Restoration of native vegetation on the lake shoreline and the construction of nutrient filter channels to improve the quality of water from stormwater run-off;

• Restoration of native vegetation to provide fauna refuges and breeding habitats for birds and other wildlife; and

• Community education on environmental issues affecting the lake.

Since implementing the plan there has been significant improvements in the water quality and a reduction in the frequency and severity of previous issues associated with water quality.

Mayor Keri Shannon said that Lake Monger is a very popular tourist attraction and the Town will continue to closely monitor the water quality at Lake Monger for the ongoing safety of wildlife and also for the enjoyment of visitors and nearby residents alike.