Pipeline to tackle water woes

The managing body is considering ways to reduce water bird activity, flush treatment ponds and clean the existing filter.

Unsafe levels of bacteria, attributed to bird faeces, forced swimming bans at the facility that eventually led to the commissioning of a report by GHD in June last year.

The international rowing facility was also closed to water sports on several occasions.

Comment News first reported on the extent of the closures on December 4, 2012, after the City of Armadale’s annual health report and questions in Parliament by Armadale MLA Tony Buti revealed the frequency of the bacterial spikes. The GHD report suggested the swale, which is supposed to filter in-flowing water, might actually be a sink for microbial and algal contaminants and further investigation revealed the ‘sludge layer’.

VenuesWest chairman Graham Partridge said efforts were now focussed on limiting the build-up of contaminants.

‘A pipeline allowing for the treatment ponds to be flushed during summer is in the design process and this infrastructure is on track to be installed in time for next summer,’ he said.

VenuesWest took over management of the centre from the Armadale Redevelopment Authority in January 2012 and conducts fortnightly water tests.

On December 18, 2012, Comment News published comments from Mr Partridge saying there were ‘few options available at this time’ to tackle the problem.

On September 3 last year, the paper reported the plight of a group of triathletes forced out of the water during an extended closure from March to September.

A week earlier, Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron told Parliament the State Government was ‘dinkum’ about addressing water quality issues.