Ultrasound project aims to control algae at Lake Bullen Merri

Published on 15 December 2021

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A 12-month pilot project has begun in an effort to control blue green algae in Lake Bullen Merri.

Corangamite Shire Council Manager Environment and Emergency Lyall Bond said a system was installed yesterday that will use ultrasonic waves in an attempt to break up the cells of the algae. This will hopefully reduce the amount and duration of any algae blooms that may occur.

The solar-powered equipment will be on four floating pontoons anchored in the lake.

“The frequency of the ultrasound is between 15 and 50 kHz which has been selected in an effort to impact the algae and no other lake species.” Mr Bond said.

“DELWP owns of the lake but Council has undertaken this project which will provide a good result for our community,” Mr Bond said.

“We just ask that the lake users keep away from them to ensure they have the best chance of working.”

Central Ward Councillor Laurie Hickey said the chemical-free technology promised an environmentally sound answer to a long-term problem.

“Lake Bullen Merri is a wonderful asset for the Shire’s boaties, kayakers, fishers, water skiers, open water swimmers and, of course, the annual Yachting Western Victoria Easter Regatta.

“It’s been horrible that summer algal blooms have made the lake inaccessible during the best weather for those sorts of activities.

“This 12 month pilot will allow us to evaluate if the ultrasound technology is a viable and cost effective permanent solution.

“It is our fervent hope that it will be successful and put the lake front and centre for local users and visitors from further afield.”

Melbourne company EnviroSonic won the tender ahead of three other companies.

The quotations were assessed by a panel which involved a Council officer, independent scientific advisor and member of the Integrated Water Network.