Lake Ruatuna Drone image

Pinpointing catchment contaminant loads - Lake Ruatuna

Research & Monitoring – With Descriptor

About the project

This project seeks to determine what contaminants are entering Lake Ruatuna, when they enter the lake and where they come from. Specifically the objectives are to:

  • Investigate how much and what type of contaminants are entering the lake, from where and at what times of year
  • Identify freshwater values in the catchment
  • Design and implement catchment interventions to reduce contaminant loads and protect existing values
  • Demonstrate how to undertake catchment contaminant investigation and implementation of interventions

Living Water has partnered with Streamlined Environmental to undertake this work.


  • Introduction of site specific interventions to achieve optimal reduction in contaminants
  • Enhanced freshwater values


This project started in May 2019.

  • Loggers have been placed in main waterways to help determine water flows and identify where most of the water entering the lake is coming from.
  • Discussions with landowners and habitat assessments are underway.

 What’s next?

  • During rainfall events, flow gauging and water quality samples will be taken to determine contaminant loads.
  • This load information will help determine the best course of action for the catchment, which may include establishing treatment riparian management zones or filtration wetlands for ephemeral watercourses
  • It will also help identify where we will achieve the biggest reductions in contaminants entering the lake.
  • Undertake mudfish surveys
  • Investigate existing sediment traps and re-design to improve effectiveness if possible