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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4181 ..

(2) Has Fadden Pond been subsequently tested to determine what type of algal bloom it was and what may have caused it.

(3) How can the pollutant load and composition of the pollutant be properly understood without testing them.

Mr Steel: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The ACT Health Protection Service, Environment Protection Authority and Transport Canberra and City Services monitor the environmental status of lakes, ponds and rivers and advise changes in water quality conditions in relation to cyanobacteria such as blue-green algae and other potentially hazardous conditions. General water quality parameters are also monitored in the lakes, rivers and ponds to pick up long term trends. Cyanobacteria testing prior to and after sediment removal will occur where visual inspections detect changes in colour of water, obvious algal blooms, appearance of surface scums and odours.

(2) Low numbers of cyanobacteria such as blue-green algae are a normal in most waterways, including lakes, rivers, creeks and ponds. Water quality sampling and testing of the pond is scheduled to take place in January 2022, and the testing will include assays to determine cyanotoxins.

(3) Water quality, pollutant load and composition can only be properly understood through sampling, testing and analysis. For example, where primary recreational activities are permitted, monitoring of water quality commences just before the main swimming season. Sampling frequency during the water recreational season is normally once per week and generally finish when seasonal conditions restrict the public from engaging in primary contact recreational activities.

Fadden Hills Pond—water quality(Question No 558)

Ms Lawder asked the Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, upon notice, on 3 December 2021 (redirected to the Minister for Transport and City Services):

(1) Given that in the recent clearing of sediment from Fadden Pond, no water testing was carried out before or after the cleaning and since cleaning the pond has had the worst algal outbreak in 30 years, can the Minister explain why most of the edge vegetation was removed during the maintenance.

(2) Given that under the Environmental Authorisation, turbidity at least should have been tested daily during the Fadden Pond works, why was no testing completed.

(3) Did removal of the edge vegetation exacerbate the algal problem.

(4) When will Fadden Pond be tested to determine the pollutants and to get a measure of water quality.

Mr Steel: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

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