Lake Ruatuna Drone image

Pinpointing catchment contaminant loads - Lake Ruatuna

Research & Monitoring – With Descriptor

What is this project about?

Living Water wants to determine what contaminants are entering Lake Ruatuna, at what volumes, when they enter the lake and where they come from. Additionally Living Water wants to identify freshwater values in the catchment, design and implement catchment interventions to reduce contaminant loads and protect the identified existing values. Lastly, Living Water wants to demonstrate how to undertake catchment contaminant investigations and implement interventions.

How is the project being undertaken?

The project started in May 2019, when loggers were placed in the main waterways to help determine water flows and identify where most of the water entering the lake is coming from.

During rainfall events, flow gauging and water quality samples are being 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 interventions can achieve the biggest reductions in contaminants entering the lake.

Living Water is also undertaking mudfish surveying, and investigating existing sediment traps to determine whether re-designing the traps would improve the effectiveness.

What might the project achieve?

Living Water hopes the research project will inform site specific interventions to achieve an optimal reduction in contaminants and enhance freshwater values in Lake Ruatuna.