Volunteers testing the water at Blackburn Lake Sanctuary

EPA Study - 1995

In 1995 the Environment Protection Authority’s study of water in the lake showed that:

But the lake water is improving!

In the late 90s the lake water was considered to be almost dead! With no appreciable aquatic life and only carp thriving in an environment largely devoid of even tadpoles and frogs , rainfall itself broughtnot fresh water, but rather oil and petrol-soaked run-off from roads and litter that stormwater washed into drains in the lake’s catchment area.

With the lake silting up and eroded banks caving into the water, the verges of the lake were losing reeds and rushes, sanctuary to reed warblers, ducks and other aquatic birds.

As bleak as this past picture may seem, the last ten years has seen a lot of hard work on special projects focused on improving the lake’s water quality, with Blackburn Lake Sanctuary home today to good numbers of native ducks, coots, cormorants and herons, an occasional swan or pelican, and a colony of tortoises.

Whitehorse Council has invested funding to remove carp and invasive weeds, restore the lake verges, and create suitable access points for visitors.

The City of Whitehorse and Melbourne Water have also made considerable improvements to the inlet from Central Road which can be seen from Friends Bridge. Moreover, construction of wetlands along the major inlet at the head of the lake - completed in 2004 - is successfully filtering many of the pollutants from the water before it reaches the lake. Litter traps in the sanctuary’s wetlands are also installed to trap gross litter in the catchment area before it enters the lake.

Whitehorse Council, Melbourne Water and the EPA respond quickly to reports of pollution in the lake; and water quality is regularly monitored by Whitehorse Council, Melbourne Water, and by way of independent studies such as Boonerwrung Waterwatch.

The Community has a role

Whitehorse Council, Melbourne Water and the EPA respond quickly to reports of pollution in the lake; and water quality is regularly monitored by Whitehorse Council, Melbourne Water, and by way of independent studies such as Boonerwrung Waterwatch.