Love Lake Burley Griffin
The National Capital Authority (the NCA) has developed a strategy to encourage the Canberra community to improve and care for the water in Lake Burley Griffin.
Canberra's stormwater drains carry water to an extensive network of streams, wetland, ponds and lakes - including Lake Burley Griffin. These provide habitat for fish, frogs and birds while improving the liveability of the city.
What can you do to prevent pollutants from entering the waterways?
- Wash your car on the grass. Do not let the soap enter the drains, or use a water-recycling car wash facility. Phosphates from detergents encourage algal growth
- Do not flush chemicals or paint into stormwater drains. This means fresher water for fish, birds, frogs and everyone else
- Prevent leaves and grass clippings from washing down the drain. Use smaller amounts of fertilisers and garden chemicals
- Put rubbish in bins, paper and plastics in the recycling and do not throw cigarette butts in the gutter. This helps to keep streams and beaches clean
- Clean up after your dog. Animal waste promotes harmful bacteria in the water
Compost garden waste and use it to improve garden soil. Green waste when released into the waterways results in algal blooms
These simple measures will help keep Lake Burley Griffin beautiful and clean for everyone to enjoy.
Welcome to the Lake Burley Griffin Water Quality Updates
The National Capital Authority (the NCA) manages a comprehensive water quality 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 on recreational beaches - Samples are taken weekly from mid October to mid April at eight beach sites. Bacterial (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 on this website with any alerts and notifications as appropriate.
- Algae monitoring program - Visual inspections are performed throughout the year with water samples taken from eight beach sites during the summer recreational season (mid October to mid April). 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 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 and boat ramps 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, 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 Territory and Municipal Services website [External link].
How to use this site
Water Quality Updates are posted by 4 pm each Friday during the summer recreational season (mid October to mid April). Any alerts or closures will remain up to and including the following Friday.
Zone and Alert Level
During the summer recreational season Lake users can view current water quality information by selecting Zone (map) or Alert Level.
All alert definitions can be found under Definitions. Alert levels and precautionary actions by lake users are explained to provide advice regarding the risks during periods of elevated blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) or bacteria (enterococci).
Lake Burley Griffin Management
The framework in which the National Capital Authority manages Lake Burley Griffin to maintain and protect the visual, recreational and environmental aspects of the Lake is under Lake Management.
Lake Burley Griffin is used by a large variety of recreational users and craft. The Watercraft Safety page provides practical advice and information to promote a safe lake for all.