Hot weather raises risk of algal blooms

Date published: 2 February 2017

The summer swelter is raising the risk of algal blooms and the potential for a fish kill in water bodies within Townsville.

Higher temperatures, and accumulated nutrients and green waste recently flushed into water ways by recent rain, have impacted on water quality in Ross River and the Hyde Park and Fairfield lakes.

The Townsville City Council’s Health and Environment Committee chair Cr Ann-Maree Greaney said environmental staff were monitoring various sites.

“We are faced with these conditions and the risk of a fish kill every year and staff are constantly monitoring water ways for any potential signs,” Cr Greaney said.

“The humid weather combined with the impacts of the recent rain has increased the potential for algal blooms, and a higher breakdown of organic matter, which removes dissolved oxygen from the water for fish and other aquatic life.”

“Environmental officers are continuing to monitor water quality in the city, particularly in Ross River (Section above Aplins Weir) and the Lakes, and are using aeration pumps to try and boost oxygen levels.”

A submerged aerator was installed in Aplins Weir before Christmas, and pumps were deployed near Rossiter Park yesterday as a precautionary measure based on recent water quality readings.

Environmental officers are continuing to monitor water quality in the city.