Torrens Lake algae control trial underway for 2016–17
The annual project to control blue-green algae in the Torrens Lake during summer has begun with a recent release of fresh water from upstream storages.
The increased flow of water was used to dilute any potential blue-green algae in the lake, preventing any build-up in the weeks before Christmas as an essential first step in protecting the lake from summer into the autumn events season.
Professor Chris Daniels, chair of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, said the recent trial marked the sixth year of the River Torrens Water Quality Improvement Project, which has been successful in preventing lake closures for the past four years.
He said while fresh water flows had been a major part of the project since its inception, further trialling of hydrogen peroxide as an algaecide is also planned, following a successful small scale pilot last season.
“The Torrens Lake is one of the city’s major public spaces and the backdrop for many of the major events held in Adelaide during summer and early autumn,” Prof. Daniels said.
“It’s important that we make a real effort to limit blue-green algal blooms that might result in the closure of the lake during the events season,” he said.
“And what’s really pleasing to see is that the management techniques we’ve developed through the project have been successful for the past four seasons in preventing closures due to blue-green algal blooms.”
Prof. Daniels said the River Torrens Water Quality Improvement Project had been initiated by the SA Government to address the problems of blue-green algae in Torrens Lake.
From the late 1990s until 2011, Torrens Lake was closed every year for some period over summer due to the presence of blue-green algae.
This type of algae can discolour water, form scums, produce unpleasant odours and release toxins that can be harmful to both humans and wildlife.
The River Torrens Water Quality Improvement Project was a recommendation of the Torrens Taskforce, a group of scientists and engineers asked to investigate the problems of the River Torrens.
The project was developed with the support of the Environment Protection Authority, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, SA Water and Adelaide City Council.
Further updates on the River Torrens project during summer is available.