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Lake Water Quality Updates

Lake Burley Griffin Water Quality Updates

The Lake Burley Griffin Water Quality Updates can be found here.

The National Capital Authority (the NCA) manages a comprehensive water quality monitoring program to:

  • monitor the environmental status of Lake Burley Griffin (the Lake) and
  • advise users about changes in the water quality conditions arising from floods, droughts, elevated bacterial, and algae conditions.

The NCA's Water Quality Program includes:

  • Microbiological monitoring at recreational sites - Samples are taken weekly from mid October to mid April during the Summer Recreational Season (the Season) at nine recreational sites. Bacteria (enterococci) levels are monitored and analysed in accordance with the National Water Quality Guidelines and ACT Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality (ACT Health 2014). The results are reported weekly during the Season on this website with any alerts and notifications as appropriate.
  • Algae monitoring program - Visual inspections are performed throughout the year and  water quality sampling and analysis undertaken on samples taken from nine recreational sites from mid October to mid April during the Summer Recreational Season (the Season. Algae (cyanobacteria) levels are monitored and analysed in accordance with the National Water Quality Guidelines and ACT Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality (ACT Health 2014). The results are reported weekly during the Season on this website with any alerts and notifications as appropriate.

The Lake Burley Griffin Water Quality Updates can be used to locate information about alert levels. This information can inform users of potential hazards or risks and the level of caution needed during periods of alert. The NCA will report water quality results and enforce restrictions to sections of the Lake for public safety reasons. Additionally safety signage at swim beaches, boat ramps and other recreational areas provide information on water quality and Lake safety measures.

Ongoing advice from ACT Health is that swimming should be avoided for several days after periods of heavy rainfall as bacteria can be strongly influenced by such events.

The water quality conditions in Lake Ginninderra, Lake Tuggeranong, the Molonglo River, Molonglo Reach, the Murrumbidgee River, Paddy's River and the Cotter River are monitored by the ACT Government. Advice for these recreational lakes and waters is found on the Transport Canberra and City Services website.