Poor water quality entering the Karaaf Wetlands
The water quality of the stormwater leaving the Sands into the Karaaf wetlands continues to be very poor despite the work done by the Sands community on improving their wetlands. The weirs have now been repaired, sediment from in front of them removed and rapids installed to increase the oxygenation of the water. Weeds have been removed from the waterways and the surrounding land and native and indigenous planting carried out, this process is ongoing and there will be a further 1,000 plants installed in November.
Water quality testing has been carried out every quarter by ALS for the owners corporation in conjunction with the hotel and golf course operator for the past 10 years. The Sands wetlands and waterways have done an extraordinary job in improving the quality of the stormwater it receives from the estates above it but it is not enough!
The Sands receives its stormwater from the Zeally Sands Estate through the Rippleside Drive wetlands which are in a very poor condition. Their sediment ponds urgently need to be cleaned out and their inlet pipes need to be cleared of weeds and silt. Rubbish also needs to be removed from this wetland. Apart from receiving stormwater from the Zeally Sands Estate the Rippleside wetlands receives the stormwater from the Dunes Estate and the Stretton Estate via a pipeline under Horseshoe Bend Rd that runs between Splitters and Grinders Ave to outlets at the walking bridge over the Rippleside wetlands where the sediment pit is full and the inlet pipes are choked with silt. The Dunes wetlands are also in very poor condition. The Stretton wetlands are a “clay pit” and approval to construct has still not been provided by council. Finally the Sands drains all the stormwater from the Whites foreshore wetlands directly into Amenity Lake 4 and this wetland needs maintenance. Rippleside and the Whites Foreshore wetlands are the responsibility of the Surf Coast Shire Council, Stretton and the Dunes are the responsibility of the respective developers.
The owners corporation has recently met with John Bertoldi (GM Infrastructure) and David Stacey (Manager Infrastructure) and it was agreed to extend ALS water quality testing to all the upstream estates and the foreshore wetlands. The purpose of this extension was to identify the source of the water quality problems. The owners corporation was also informed at this meeting that council had now budgeted for wetland maintenance. Currently we are awaiting council advice on what actions it will take on the wetlands it is responsible for and what actions it will take with the Dunes and Stretton.