UPDATE: All areas of Lake Burley Griffin are now OPEN
The National Capital Authority (NCA) wishes to advise the community and Lake Burley Griffin (the Lake) recreational users that all areas of Lake Burley Griffin are now Open. Water quality sampling and analysis has confirmed a reduction in bacteria levels in all areas.
The Lake was closed from Saturday, 3 September, as a precautionary measure during a minor flooding event.
The NCA undertook water quality sampling at key beach sites. Recent results have confirmed the reduction of bacteria levels, enabling the Lake to be re-opened. Under the Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality, two consecutive negative samples must be obtained before reopening the Lake.
The elevated bacteria levels could be attributed to several sources, including high flows in urban storm-water and domestic and rural animal waste runoff. Ongoing advice from ACT Health is that swimming in receiving waters should be avoided for several days after heavy rainfall as water quality is strongly influenced by these factors and generally leads to short periods of elevated bacterial levels.
WHAT: Change in Water Quality Alert Levels for Lake Burley Griffin
WHERE: All areas are Open.
2015 - 2016 Recreational Season has now ended
The Lake Burley Griffin water quality sampling and analysis for the 2015 - 2016 recreational season ended on 15 April 2016.
The sampling for the Lake Burley Griffin 2016 - 2017 recreational season will recommence on Monday 10 October 2016. The water quality weekly reports will resume on Friday 14 October 2016.
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.
Weekly Update, Zone and Alert Level
During the summer recreational season Lake users can view current water quality information by selecting Weekly Update (all zones shown), Zone (select an area of Lake Burley Griffin) or searching by current 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.
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.
These simple measures will help keep Lake Burley Griffin beautiful and clean for everyone to enjoy. A little change can go a long way!
Show that you care about Lake Burley Griffin and share the hashtag #lovelbg.