2019 February – Lake Cooby Toowoomba (Qld) – Cyanobacteria

Council closes three dams and lakes due to contamination


2 Feb 2019

THREE of Toowoomba’s major water landmarks have closed to water-based activities¬†following contamination fears.

Toowoomba Regional Council has closed Lake Cooby and Lake Cressbrook to water activities with Lake Perseverance remaining closed due to high levels of cyanobacteria detected at each of the dams.

At Lake Cressbrook and Lake Perseverance, land based activities are allowed and at Lake Cooby the dam wall picnic area remains open, however Loveday Cove is closed to the public.

The council’s water portfolio leader Cr Bill Cahill said residents should expect these events to become more regular as dam levels decrease due to the ongoing dry conditions.

“Cyanobacteria represents no risk to drinking water supplies as the water treatment and disinfection process removes them.

“However, coming into contact with water that contains cyanobacteria may cause skin irritation and if consumed could lead to irritation of the oesophagus.

“Council will conduct its regular testing regime to determine when each of the dams can re-open to water activities.”

Cr Cahill said the council monitored the three dams on a weekly basis for cyanobacteria and numerous microbiological parameters including E.coli.

“We also test chemical parameters such as iron, manganese, alkalinity, hardness, ammonia, nitrate, colour, turbidity and phosphate,” he said.

“The treatment process is also closely monitored (daily). When the water leaves the treatment plant, we conduct tests in the distribution system in accordance with our Drinking Water Quality Management Plans.

“These plans line up with the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.”