An­swers sought over lake salin­ity


Comment News (Gosnells) - - News -

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.”

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