Lake Hayes Catchment - a new study
Where is the Lake Hayes Catchment?
The Lake Hayes Catchment water management zone covers an area of 4271 hectares.
Excessive amounts of nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) can cause water quality issues, particularly in lakes.
To find out where the nutrients are coming from, we need to study key water bodies (creeks and streams) throughout the whole area surrounding Lake Hayes.
Historically most P is associated with sediment from bed/bank erosion into Mill Creek.
It’s important to study how much sediment and phosphorous enters Mill Creek, because it is the major inflow into Lake Hayes.
However in recent years, there may have been surface water run-off from bare land that was exposed during the earthworks during the building of resorts and homes.
We have already seen some evidence of this because N is known to be elevated in Mill Creek, and also in some springs in the catchment - but we need to recheck to be sure.
Why are we doing a new study and what will it tell us?
We want to measure the main source of N & P in the Lake Hayes catchment.
Once we know where the highest concentrations of these nutrients are, we can take steps to prevent them diffusing into the water.
How will it work?
We have selected eight surface water sites and one groundwater site at different places around the Lake Hayes catchment.
The sites are the same as those previously studied in 1997 by an ORC scientist.
We will install water flow meters and, depending upon the type of testing, either collect water samples continuously or monthly.
Since we have good data that was collected in 1997, we will be able to make some comparisons between the current state and over 20 years ago, i.e. then and now.
We will also measure turbidity (cloudiness) and what happens in high flow events like storms.