Answers sought over lake salinity
BORES TO COLLECT UP-T0-DATE INFORMATION
VENUESWEST has received permission to drill test bores at Champion Lakes Regatta Centre while its application to take water from a less salty aquifer is in progress.
Salinity issues at the facility prompted the Western Australian Sports Centre Trust (VenuesWest) to apply for a licence to take 190,000kL a year from a superficial aquifer while taking less from the more brackish Yarragadee aquifer.
Lake water salinity is about 11,000 parts per million, more than threes times higher than a traditional salt-water pool. If the plan fails to improve the water quality, desalination may be considered.
While the lake’s salinity is not considered to be a health issue, it can kill fringing plants, which affects the stability of the shore line.
The volume of water VenuesWest wants to pump in each year to refresh the lake is the equivalent of 76 Olympicsized swimming pools.
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Swan Avon Region manager Don Cummins said the test bores would allow VenuesWest to collect up-todate data on the impacts of pumping on the aquifer.
“Once the hyrdogeological data requested by the department has been provided, and the application process completed, a decision on the licence will be made,” he said.
VenuesWest chief executive David Therton confirmed the facility had released water from the regatta lake into the Wungong Brook this winter to help flush the lake.
The release of water is separate to the bores application and is part of an annual strategy to reduce the salt loading during the winter months.
“The need to discharge is assessed as part of routine testing of the automated pumping system,” Mr Etherton said. “It is also entirely dependent on water flow within the Wungong and we work with the Department of Water to manage this.”