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Lake Powell at a glance
Lake health:   polluted
       Lake Powell view


Lake Powell was previously about one metre deep but is now only half that depth and the water level varies between 0.3 to 0.9 metres above sea level. There is some remnant vegetation, and the lake is surrounded by a narrow band of paperbarks and sedges. The water is fresh but is now highly eutrophic, and there are no longer freshwater mussels or murray cod, which were introduced into it around the 1880s. The fish flourished for a time throughout the system, probably until the water became to acidic between 1910 and 1940 when it got down to pH 3.5.

Despite its polluted state and low floristic value, Lake Powell is a very important habitat for waterbirds and frogs. Several drains flow into the lake from agricultural regions to the east and northeast. Some of these areas include the wastewater treatment plant, a piggery and tree farms, which the wastewater is discharged on to. These combined areas, discharge vast amounts of nutrients, which end up in the lake and cause huge blooms of algae every year. Careful steps are being put in place to ensure that these nutrients do not start to effect the relatively clean Torbay Inlet, which is part of the drainage system.

The Watershed Torbay project has been set up to manage this region and try to rehabilitate this system back to its former glory.

Further Information:

South Coast Regional Land and Water Care Strategy: The Albany Hinterland Sub-region Prepared by: the South Coast Regional Assessment Panel and the South Coast Regional Initiative Planning Team: December 1996.

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