EPA investigates lead levels
The Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says lead in wetlands around Kerang and Western District lakes poses no human health or environmental issues.
The Lead in Wetlands Study, instigated in response to community concerns that lead shot from duck hunting may have caused lead contamination, found that lead levels posed no risk to human health in either sediment or water sampling.
Chief environmental scientist Dr Andrea Hinwood said only a small number of samples were taken for the preliminary investigation.
“The results of this preliminary investigation indicate that impacts from the historical use of lead shot to hunt waterfowl has not significantly affected water quality. Results do not exceed the recommended recreational livestock water quality or sediment quality guidelines for lead,” she said. However, the report also noted overall water quality at these lakes can be improved to maintain the ecosystem values and beneficial uses of the lakes. “Lead concentrations in the water and sediment of the lakes tested is low and below guidelines,” Dr Hinwood said. Lead shot was banned for duck hunting in Victoria in 1994. “Though testing methods were different, EPA was able to compare these current results with sampling taken in 1989, which show comparable results giving us additional support for our conclusions,” Dr Hinwood said. “We will now work with local stakeholders to establish opportunities to improve the overall quality of these very important waterways.”
The lakes tested were: Lake Murdeduke, Lake Colongulac, Lake Martin, Lake Colac at Rifle Range, Lake Colac at Camp Ground and Lake Tooliorook, Lake Buloke, Lake Boort, Lake Cullen South, Cairn Curran Reservoir North, Cairn Curran Reservoir South.
“Lead concentrations in the water and sediment of the lakes tested is low and below guidelines.”
Dr Andrea Hinwood