Past Times: 31 December 1978 | Canberra Times

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On this day in 1978, the front page of this newspaper showed a report on the water quality of waterways in the area. Research into water quality control in the lakes and rivers of the ACT should have begun about 10 years before, said an associate professor of environmental chemistry at Canberra College of Advanced Education, Dr. Ron Rosich. The lack of a coordinated study on water quality control had left Canberra with problems such as the presence of blue-green algae and the Department of the Capital Territory without the necessary information to base management strategies on. Historically, Australia had concentrated its water surveys on supply, yet there had been identifiable quality control issues for decades. The presence of excessive blue-green algae in Lake Burley Griffin was seen as a clear possibility with the completion of a CCAE study funded by the Australian Water Resources Council. DCT issued a warning to swimmers in the lake not to swallow the water due to the discovery of algae believed to be anacyistic cyanea. Samples of the algae are tested for positive identification. Dr. Rosich said the worst effects of blue-green algae in sufficient quantities had caused poisoning of livestock in the southern landscape in the previous few years. The presence of algae in the lake early in the summer season was a problem as it usually did not show up until late summer. Its early presence led people to believe that the problem was likely to worsen drastically. The year before, Canberra had been confronted with the worst weed growth in the lake since it had been filled. See trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/110932150/12385896

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