Green lakes not sinister

The lakes at Hyde Park have taken on a disconcerting appearance recently, but authorities say there is no need for alarm.
The lakes at Hyde Park have taken on a disconcerting appearance recently, but authorities say there is no need for alarm.

On closer inspection Mr Iaconi realised they were actually covered by what he believed to be was some kind of algae.

‘I’ve been going to Hyde Park for the past 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,’ he said.

The City of Vincent recently completed a $3.5 million Hyde Park lakes restoration project, which included reducing the size of the lakes and improving water quality.

Despite Mr Iaconi raising concerns about the health of the lakes, the City’s acting chief executive Rob Boardman said the green plant was not algae, but a species of duckweed, which does not necessarily relate to the lakes being unhealthy.

‘Duckweed is a small aquatic plant that has likely been introduced by waterbirds. Though it has a short life cycle, it reproduces rapidly,’ he said.

Mr Boardman said Hyde Park had duckweed infestations in its lakes previously, which had died relatively quickly, but this time the weed had hung around due to the high nutrient loads stirred up by the restoration works.

‘It is being manually removed at present, as time allows. Spraying with herbicide is an option, however this would not be considered at this point in time due to environmental issues,’ he said.

‘Duckweed usually dissipates over time, particularly as the weather and water temperature warm up.’

The City will continue to monitor the lakes, including testing the water quality over the next 12 months, but so far it believes the restoration project has been a success.

‘At present the lakes are full, the water quality is good, no sinister algae have been identified, the new native plantings are growing very well and there’s a general increase in biodiversity,’ Mr Boardman said.