Innovative water treatment trial shows early promise
Released 24 May 2017
Initial stages of a trial aimed at controlling algal growth in the Lower Vasse River has demonstrated improved visual amenity and reduced phosphorus build-up associated with algal blooms.
High nutrient concentrations and low flows in the river over summer can lead to blue-green algal blooms and nuisance odours.
Fifteen tanks were immersed in the river near the Lower Vasse traffic bridge by Department of Water scientists in November 2016. An innovative new clay product was applied to the tanks at different doses. The clay strips phosphorous from the water column and prevents phosphorous release from the sediments.
"We have been really pleased with the visual improvement in water quality in the tanks with the clay compared to those with no clay," said Svenja Tulipani, lead scientist on the trial.
"We are now looking closely at the water quality data collected over the trial to assess if we extend the trial over larger areas of the river next summer."
The trial is part of a series of experiments to explore unique ways to improve water quality in the Lower Vasse River and other regional estuaries.
It is part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways Initiative, which aims to improve water quality and waterway health in Geographe waterways. It is being overseen by the Vasse Taskforce. Results will inform the long-term management of the Lower Vasse River.
Comprehensive results will be shared with the community at the May 26 Community Science update https://geocatch.asn.au/event/community-science-forum/
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441