- 2018/19 Blue-green algae remediation pilot project: information about the trial.
- Project diary - Keep up to date on the latest project news and information.
About the project
Lake Albert is one of Wagga's popular recreational destinations, offering a range of facilities for all boat and recreational users.
Over the past ten years, Wagga Wagga City Council has been working to implement a range of recommendations in the Lake Albert Management Plan 2009-2015.
Some of these completed projects include:
- Bosley Park Amenities Upgrade
- Bosley Park Erosion Remediation
- Stringybark Creek Remediation
- Crooked Creek Remediation
- Apex park upgrades
- Foreshore erosion works
- A full list of recent works can be found here.
In recent times, Lake Albert has been impacted by low water levels and increasing frequency of Blue Green Algae outbreaks. Council is currently working with the community to develop and implement strategies to address these issues.
These strategies identified will be included in the revised Lake Albert Management Plan along with other strategic actions in regards to management of Lake Albert. The draft Lake Albert Management Plan will be completed mid 2018 and be placed on public exhibition to receive community feedback.
Updates on the progress of the plan and other projects at Lake Albert will be posted on this website.
Current Investigations For Maintaining Water Levels:
Treatment for Algae Infested Water
Council is currently undertaking a pilot project to assess the suitability of ultrasound technology to control blue-green algae. The management of Blue Green Algae is a complex problem that will require significant analysis to determine contributing factors and prevention strategies. Read more about the 2018/19 Blue-green algae remediation pilot project.
Stormwater Diversion from the Tatton Drain
Council is currently carrying out a detailed investigation and preparation of a detailed design, specification and cost estimates for the installation and ongoing operation of a stormwater diversion structure in the Tatton Drain. Once this investigation is completed, Council will be seeking grant funding for the implementation of this project.
Previous Investigations For Maintaining Water Levels:
There are three main aquifers within the city area, with one forming a water source for the city. Some of these aquifers are highly saline.
In June 2015, Council allocated $20,000 from the Lake Albert improvements reserve to carry out further investigations into the viability of the ground water within close proximity to Lake Albert. Groundwater investigation works at Lake Albert commenced December 2015 in a partnership project between Council and Wagga Wagga Boat Club. Although a source water was found, it was insufficient to provide a sustainable inflow to the Lake.
For public health reasons, recycled effluent for re-use in Lake Albert would need to be of a standard that is classified as Class A. Currently Council's treatment plant’s discharge is classified as Class B. Council sought funding to extend the Sewer 2010 project to allow plant to produce Class A water however was unsuccessful.
The Lake Albert management plan estimated at the time the cost to upgrade the infrastructure from Class B to Class A discharge would be $10M - $12M.
From The River
Recent conversations with the relevant State Government departments have indicated that using river water to fill the Lake could be possible; however would require a significant Review of Environmental Factors before any application. After the review providing all requirements could be met it is likely that the licence would be issued as a zero allocation licence meaning Council would then have to purchase water from the open market to use under this licence. An alternative to this would be to purchase a licence on the open market which already has a water allocation.
The main obstacles of using river water are:
- the high cost of obtaining and maintaining a water licence,
- the ongoing water usage costs,
- the initial capital cost required to put in place the infrastructure necessary to be able to deliver the water
Lake Albert Water Level FAQs
Q: How much water can the Lake hold?
The Lake Albert Management Plan estimates that when full, the Lake represents a storage volume of around 4,000 megalitres
Q: How is the Lake filled?
The two primary sources for filling Lake Albert are
- Crooked Creek to the South East - partially diverted from 1902, and permanently diverted into the Lake in 1969/70
- Stringybark Creek to the South West - partially diverted in 1932 and permanently diverted into the Lake in 1977
Under average rainfall conditions, the catchment area has the ability to generate an inflow of more than twice the volume of water stored in the Lake.
Once the catchment area to the south of the Lake is saturated, these two sources can fill the Lake in a relatively short timeframe.
Recent works have been undertaken on these waterways to improve the quality of the water entering the Lake.
Q: Has anything changed recently?
Previous soil erosion works have been undertaken in the catchment feeding the Lake. The catchment now needs significant rainfall to saturate the catchment before the creek system will begin to flow.
Q: Where does the water go?
The main source of water loss is evaporation.
Normal evaporation losses are 1000 mm in an average year and up to 1500 mm in a drought year. This is equivalent to half the Lake’s capacity in a dry year.
Lake Albert Water Levels
The major challenge for Council is to find a solution that is both economically and environmentally sustainable in addressing the communities concerns regarding the management of the Lake. Council has explored a number of options in detail regarding filling of the lake.