Increasing algae levels prompt new flow into Torrens

News release
04 January 2019

A further release of fresh water into the River Torrens starts today (Friday 4 January) as part of the annual program to control algal levels in the river and Torrens Lake during summer.

Dr Nadine Kilsby from Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges said an initial release of water in the week before Christmas had successfully controlled blue-green algal levels in Torrens Lake. However, ongoing water monitoring had detected a steady increase in algae due to recent warm weather, prompting the latest flow.

“In high concentrations blue-green algae can result in the closure of recreational water bodies such as the Torrens Lake, so our aim is to respond to potential blooms before they occur,” she said.

“And while the project is focused on the lake, an added benefit is that these flows also improve water quality along the entire length of the Torrens from the hills to the coast.”

The River Torrens Water Quality Improvement Project began in 2011 with a goal of trialling strategies to control blue-green algal growth in Torrens Lake during summer and early autumn. Since 2013-14 the project has been successful in preventing lake closures due to algal blooms.

The project was developed with the support of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, the Department for Environment and Water, SA Water, the Environment Protection Authority and the City of Adelaide.

Following the release of the water, higher than usual flows will be noticeable in the River Torrens for around four days as water makes its way from the hills, through the city to the Torrens outlet at Henley Beach South, where a channel directs the water to the sea.

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.

Updates about the River Torrens project during summer. 


Related links

More information

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges