Lake Hood interventions under way to improve water quality

Published: 4 September 2023

News from the Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce

Proactively getting ahead of algal blooms has prompted the formation of the Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce.

Representatives from the Ashburton Aquatic Park Charitable Trust, the Huntingdon Park Property Owners Association, Lake Hood Extension Project and Ashburton District Council have come together to improve water quality at the lake. This follows a one-off algae bloom at the lake in March.

The taskforce has commissioned scientific expertise to better understand nutrient sources, water flows and weather conditions that encourage algae growth.

Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce chairman David West says the aim is to prevent further algal blooms from forming, and if blooms form, ways to disperse algae quickly and safely.

“We want to make sure Lake Hood remains a premier recreational destination for visitors and locals. Algae blooms in lakes are becoming more prevalent worldwide. The taskforce wants to be proactive and act early so we won’t see a repeat this summer.”

The taskforce’s scientific expertise complements interventions already in place like aeration of the canals using technology sourced from Opuha Water Ltd. The taskforce installed six aeration diffusers last week.

The diffusers improve water quality by introducing dissolved oxygen and eliminating water stratification. They help clean the water of cloudiness and odours and reduce the possibility of algae forming.

While the diffusers make no noise, don’t affect human or ecosystem health, or the ability of lake users to undertake recreation, their only noticeable impact is bubbles on the surface of the canals.

“We’re excited to trial this technology and fortunate that Opuha Water was able to assist us by getting the aerators to us before our recreational season kicks into gear,” says Mr West.

Advice to property owners around Lake Hood is also part of the taskforce’s brief. The taskforce has been communicating through a Facebook page and updated residents at a resident’s association meeting this week.

“We are encouraging residents who live near the lake to do everything they can to support efforts to improve water quality. This includes not dumping grass clippings or garden waste into the canals, and minimising garden and lawn fertilisers as these practices add nutrients to the water. Our aim is to get everybody on board as this is the only way we can make improvements,” Mr West said.

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