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City of Ballarat Community Magazine September 2009
Recycled water helps fill
Class A recycled water is now flowing into Lake Wendouree. The water is
being supplied from Central Highland Water's (CHW) Ballarat North Water
Reclamation Plant. The $7 million project was announced in January
2006 and is a joint partnership between Council, the State Government
A 10 year agreement has been signed with CHW enabling 600 megalitres
of recycled water to be added to the Lake each year. This will complement
the stormwater that flows into the Lake. Approximately 250 megalitres will
be captured annually from Paul's Wetland and 550 megalitres is expected
to be sourced from the catchment surrounding the Lake. Rainfall provides
around 1200 megalitres of water to the Lake each year.
The Lake's annual evaporation rate is similar to the rainfall and stormwater
inputs. This means the recycled water will help fill the Lake, but how quickly
this happens will depend on rainfall. Unless climate patterns change or
other water sources are found the Lake may not be full until 2014.
It is important that the Lake refills gradually so the reeds, rushes and lake
weed have time to re-establish, otherwise there are likely to be algal blooms.
The quality of the water will be regularly monitored. Ammonia, total nitrogen,
phosphorus, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids, pH (alkalinity
/acidity balance), turbidity (clarity) and coliform bacteria levels will be
reported to relevant agencies and the public.
Once the Lake has reached a depth of one metre floating barges will be
used to deepen the rowing course by half a metre. This will bring the course
up to a national standard. Once this work is completed the Head of the Lake
and other aquatic sports could safely be conducted along the rowing
course. However, the Lake will need to be full for National level regattas.
Power boats will be allowed back on the Lake once it is 0.6 metres below
Economic modelling has shown the region loses $7.9 million per year when
the Lake is dry. The associated loss in employment is equivalent to 88 jobs.
Below: Recycled water enters Lake Wendouree via the diffuser
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