Wide view of lake in morning, with reeds along bank in foreground.
POTENTIAL OPTION:  A trial of an enzyme treatment which is designed to disrupt the structure of the blue green algae itself and prevents it from growing will be considered by Council early next year.


Council to consider blue-green algae treatment for Lake Albert

Published: 13 Dec 2023 10:03am

Wagga Wagga City Council will consider funding a trial of a possible blue-green algae treatment for Lake Albert at its February 2024 Councillor budget workshop, in conjunction with other budget considerations.

At the Ordinary Meeting of Council on Monday (12 December), Councillors endorsed noting a report on blue green algae (BGA) treatment options and the budget implications of constructing the pipeline, operating the pipeline and trialling the BGA treatment in the Lake.

Lake Albert is a 121-hectare lake that has been a significant recreational, economic, and environmental asset to the city for more than a century.

The Lake suffers recurring periods of drying out and Blue Green Algae (BGA) outbreaks limiting its use during times when it contains water.

Solar powered ultrasound buoys floating on Lake Albert.
ULTRASOUND SYSTEM: The solar powered ultrasound units currently installed at Lake Albert to manage blue green algae levels.

As part of its work on mitigating these ongoing issues Council was successful in obtaining a 1.8 gigalitre specific purpose water licence to support the Lake volume.

General Manager Peter Thompson said staff have been reviewing several emerging products which are marketed as a preventative and or treatment of BGA.

“We have been undertaking trials with a company and the University of Newcastle on an enzyme treatment for the lake, which disrupts the structure of the blue green algae itself and prevents it from growing,” Mr Thompson said.

“We are to the point where the company feels that it is a solution for the lake and we're hopeful that it's a solution as well.

“They've never done a water body as large as the lake so to some degree, it's still a trial, but everyone is hopeful that this may be a long-term solution to preventing algal blooms in the lake.

Lake outlet connected back to main lake.

“The other aspect of that report considered by Council was an acknowledgement that the pipeline will come both at a capital cost to us, which we will need to repay over the years, as well as ongoing operating costs.

“Rather than just press the green button and undertake the algae treatment, we actually need to incorporate it into our budgets and understand how we're funding that every year going forward.”

It is expected the projects to maintain water volume in the lake and the algae treatment program will cost in excess of $1 million each year.