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Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group Inc: Lake Alexandrina, north of Point Sturt

Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group Inc: Lake Alexandrina, north of Point Sturt

Bottle number: 116

About the water

Annette Allnutt, Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group member, taking a water sample.
Annette Allnutt, Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group.
Photo: Bruce Allnutt.

Collected at: Lake Alexandrina, on the Northern shore of the Point Sturt Peninsular, South Australia

E: 321184, N: 6070294, Zone 54

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Collected by: Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group Inc.

The site is owned by the Chairman of the Point Sturt and Districts Inc. Landcare Group.

Water quality:

Turbidity: NTU ~ 35
pH: 8.5
Nitrates: less than 0.5mg/L
Salinity: 5850┬ÁS/cm
Phosphates: 0.5mg/L
Dissolved oxygen: 6.2mg/L

About the site

Lake Alexandrina, on the Northern shore of the Point Sturt Peninsula, South Australia.
Lake Alexandrina, on the Northern shore of the Point Sturt Peninsula, South Australia. Looking back from where water sample was taken towards the normal Lake shore, approx. 300m distant. The dry Lake bed at this site has acid sulphate soils exposed. Photo: Bruce Allnutt.

The site is adjacent to a Lake Alexandrina lakeshore cattle grazing property of very many years. This property is unimproved pasture, and the cattle have access to the lake water for drinking. As the water has receded, the water laps potentially acidic, and acidic lakeshore sands, instead of a grassy verge to the edge of the lake as was previously the case.

What's going on:

Receding waters of Lake Alexandrina are exposing potentially acid sulphate soils to the atmosphere. These are becoming acidic, with patches of sulphur becoming apparent. As over allocation of the River Murray's waters continues, and there is no adequate mechanism for allocating water for environmental requirements, and end of system flows in the National Water Initiative document, Lake Alexandrina is also becoming increasingly saline.

Acid Sulphate soil and water testing.