New flow to improve water quality in Torrens

News release
10 January 2018

A further release of fresh water into the River Torrens starts tomorrow (Thursday 11 January 2018) as part of the annual program to control algal levels in the river and Torrens Lake during summer.

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Manager Water Projects Katharine Ward, said an initial release of water in mid-December, boosted by inflow from rain, had successfully reduced blue-green algal levels in Torrens Lake to very low levels.

However ongoing water monitoring had detected a slow but steady increase in algae, prompting the latest flow, which is expected to last for up to four days.

“In high concentrations blue-green algae can result in the closure of recreational water bodies such as the Torrens Lake, so an important focus for the program is to respond to potential blooms before they occur,” said Ms Ward.

“And while the program has a focus on the lake, it’s also designed to improve water quality along the entire length of the Torrens from the hills to the coast.”

The River Torrens Water Quality Improvement program began in 2011 with a major goal of trialling strategies to control blue-green algal growth in Torrens Lake during summer and early autumn.

Since 2013-14 the program has been successful in preventing lake closures through the use of high intensity flows of fresh water along the river. Controlled trials have also been carried out using hydrogen peroxide as an algaecide, as an additional strategy.

Following the release of the water, local residents and visitors to the River Torrens Linear Park may notice higher than usual flows in the river for up to four days as water makes its way from the hills, through the city to the Torrens outlet at Henley Beach South.

Water resulting from the flows will be of a better quality than stormwater. However, as with all flows into the sea from urban areas, beach goers are encouraged to avoid swimming in turbid or discoloured water.

The River Torrens Water Quality Improvement program was developed with the support of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, SA Water, Environment Protection Authority, and Adelaide City Council.

Take a look here for updates on the River Torrens program during summer.

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Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges