Lake Ainsworth continues to be an important recreational and environmental asset and remains a key visitor destination within the Ballina Shire region. The Lake is primarily used for swimming activities, which is why the protection of the Lake’s water quality is imperative for the community as well as the local environment.
Ballina Shire Council has recently completed an investigation into the water quality of Lake Ainsworth. Throughout 2016, Council’s Environmental Health Officers collected additional water samples at the popular swimming location to create a snapshot of the Lake’s water quality.
During the investigation, water samples were regularly collected to test for a range of components, which were then assessed against national guidelines. These components included algae, bacteria, acidity, nutrient levels, hydrocarbons, heavy metals and pesticides.
‘Our findings showed the physico-chemical components were within the expected range, which means the swimming spot will generally remain suitable for community use,’ said Rachael Jenner, Council’s Environmental Health Officer.
‘However, nutrient levels were high in comparison to national guidelines and this may affect the ongoing prevalence of blue-green algae in the Lake,’ said Ms Jenner.
This preliminary investigation was an important step in ensuring the Lake’s wellbeing, its continued recreational use, and informing future management actions. This research, and further ongoing water sampling will now be used to ensure the Lake remains in a healthy state for the future.
Read the full report findings and factsheet on Ballina Shire Council’s website ballina.nsw.gov.au (search Lake Ainsworth).
For further information, please contact Rachael Jenner, Environmental Health Officer, on 6686 4444.