For 7 years the Landcare group in Galston/Arcadia has now been measuring regularly the quality of the water flowing at 3 points in our local creeks. Here’s what we have found.
Is the water quality good? Yes, most of the time.
Is the quality changing? No deterioration has occurred during the last 7 years, but there is a lot of variation.
What causes this variation? The biggest factor is when it rained last and how much it rained: see the photo of Still Ck waterfall in heavy rain. Just after rain phosphates from waste water and fertiliser get washed through into the creeks. This is very noticeable upstream nearer houses. On the other hand, salt levels are reduced with rain.
What is happening to life in the creeks? We measure dissolved oxygen levels: 80% of upstream and more than 90% of downstream levels are within standards and so able to support life.
But what life is there? Recently we have started a biological measure counting waterbugs and have found mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, a good indicator. However, long-term residents know that the fish which used to inhabit the creeks are no longer there.
Can I see the results of these tests? Yes, go to http://www.stillcreeklandcare.com.au/our-catchment/water-quality/
What can I do about reducing pollutants? A lot, just see our suggestions: http://www.stillcreeklandcare.com.au/rural-residents-guide/water/
If you are interested in having chemical or physical tests of your creek water or learning how to do the tests, please contact us via our website.
Contacts: www.stillcreeklandcare.com.au or Facebook