TAMS undertakes a water monitoring program for the ACT which includes water quality and streamflow monitoring. This information is used to determine whether waters in the ACT are of adequate quality and if the management strategies used to achieve or maintain such water quality are adequate.
This report provides the ACT community with the results of the program and the level of compliance with the ACT Water Quality Standards.
Water quality is monitored in the major urban lakes (with the exception of Lake Burley Griffin, a Commonwealth responsibility) and Burrinjuck Reservoir which is immediately downstream of the ACT. The major rivers and some urban streams are also monitored. River flow is measured at a number of sites throughout the ACT. This information is necessary for interpreting water quality data.
Rainfall for the period was well below the long term average with the ACT experiencing the driest six month period on record. As a result, streamflow was also below the long term average in the major streams and rivers.
The report uses the median value for the year as the measure of the average condition. The condition of water quality at the monitoring sites is assessed by comparison of the median value with concentrations listed in the water quality standards.
Trend assessment of data available for the period 1992-1998 has been carried out for sites with sufficient data for trends to be detected.
Water quality in the ACT for lakes and streams is generally good. The main impacts on water quality in the urban area are a direct result of land development with urban run-off carrying suspended sediment and nutrients.
Water quality in Lake Tuggeranong and Lake Ginninderra continues to improve as the catchments stabilise after extensive development. Point Hut Pond has only been monitored since 1994 and after showing no change in water quality has shown an improvement this reporting period in a number of indicators. Gungahlin Pond is also beginning to show an improvement in some indicators as the catchment begins to stabilise.
Water quality in the Murrumbidgee River is quite good showing that the ACT has minimal impact on the water quality in the river and that management practices appear to be effective in controlling pollution from the ACT. Water quality in the Molonglo River was also quite good with median values complying with the water quality standards at all sites monitored.
For the full water quality report please download using one of the links below.