Council Outlines $1M Plan to Improve Water Quality in Forest Lake

Earlier this year, Brisbane City Council announced it will allocate $1 million in its 2019 budget to address ibis infestation in Forest Lake. Now, BCC has come up with solutions to improve the health of the lake and has outlined them in the Forest Lake Strategic Management Plan.

In hopes of reducing algal blooms on Forest Lake and improve its ecosystem, BCC recommended the following solutions:

  • strategic rehabilitation within two of the inlet areas via de-silting,
  • immediate replanting in the inlet areas and in the deeper lake bed, where possible to assist with reducing nutrient levels in the sediment within those areas 
  • ensure that there are macrophytes established to utilise available nutrients in the future 
  • additional macrophyte planting more broadly across the open water areas of the lake, where possible, being designed in such a way that it achieves improved water quality outcomes

De-silting in areas of the lake is due to start in April 2020. It will be followed by replanting which is expected to be completed by late 2020. 

Before coming up with a strategic management plan, BCC has undertaken water quality sampling and analysis as well as aquatic ecological assessment. The Council has been out on the lake with boats and sampling equipment since March 2019 to get a more in-depth understanding of the water quality. 

It’s part of the Council’s existing efforts to manage Forest Lake, which already includes harvesting salvinia weed, running an ibis management program, cleaning out litter traps upstream of the lake, as well as collecting and disposing of algae scum. 

The Strategic Management Plan was developed to identify future lake management options, recommend a lake monitoring plan, document the current condition of the lake, and document outcomes from the Forest Lake working group.

About the Lake

Forest Lake is an artificial lake originally designed to provide a recreational and visual amenity for the surrounding community, and to enhance the natural environment through the provision of habitat for flora and fauna.

The lake is clay lined, with concrete revetment edges, viewing platforms, access points and boulder edges. The volume of the lake is 272,000 cubic metres, with a 3.5 km hiking and biking trail.