A new wetland has been created in Lake Tuggeranong to help keep our water clean as part of the ACT Healthy Waterways program.
Minister for Water Shane Rattenbury said the trial wetland is designed to reduce the likelihood of algal blooms in warm weather.
“Current ongoing research shows that the introduction of a new wetland environment in Lake Tuggeranong will create competition with algae for nutrients and light, making it much harder for algal blooms to spread,” Minister Rattenbury said.
“This is the first large-scale deployment of a floating wetland within the ACT. The wetland will cover approximately 500m2 and will absorb significant amounts of nutrients entering the area during low flows when algal blooms might form in the area.
“The floating wetland is made of a fibrous recycled plastic base covered with a matt of coconut fibre. Local native plants will be planted into the wetland and will grow through the layers of material, their roots extending into the water. The plants, and the fungi and bacteria that grow on their roots, will take up nutrients from the water, helping to improve water quality.
“The ACT Government’s investment in this floating wetland demonstrates our commitment to extend the ACT Healthy Waterways program once the $93.5 million grant by the ACT and Commonwealth Governments winds down in June this year.
“We are prioritising initiatives that will reduce the flow of nutrient pollutants into our lakes when it rains to preserve and improve the quality of our lakes and ponds.
“The trial will last for two years, during which time we will closely monitor the performance of the project. If the trial is successful, the wetland will be maintained in Lake Tuggeranong on an ongoing basis.
“I want to extend my thanks to the construction team for their hard work in bringing this project together.”
Find out more about the ACT Healthy Waterways program including the trial floating wetland on the ACT Environment website.