This morning I consulted with Parramatta City Council on concerns I noted in my inspection of Lake Parramatta whilst undertaking an updated risk assessment for the Joey & Cub Fun Day. I have held off notifying until today whilst awaiting the results of the water testing before making the final call.
I had a number of concerns relating to the following issues:
- It is evident that the storm water run-off into the Lake during the past two weeks of heavy rainfall has been detrimental to the quality and cleanliness of the water in the Lake.
- The lake has been closed for boating and swimming activities by the Council as a consequence of the most recent water quality testing from Monday 20 March 2017.
- There is a continuing forecast of rain and storms for the remainder of the week, which will only add to the problem of contaminants in the lakes catchment system.
- The water level in the lake is such that the boating pontoon is currently 1.5-1.8 metres under water. This presents a problem with safe access to boats onto the water for novices and particularly a safety issue for young children.
- The water level is currently sitting at the height of the dam wall. There is an exclusion zone of marker buoys approximately 5 metres away from the dam wall. With the flow of stormwater into the lake, there is an unacceptable level of risk that a novice in a boat may accidentally move into that exclusion zone and have their safety compromised if they get too close to the wall.
On the basis of these concerns and the risk that any other venue in the Sydney basin will also be polluted through storm water run-off, I have consulted with Mark Fell, RC Activities GWS and we have made the decision to postpone the Joey and Cub Water Fun Day to a date to be advised, due to the risk level being unacceptable based on the age and ability of the participants and the conditions at the site.
If we can find a date available in April, we will do so. Otherwise it will be postponed to late Spring. This decision has not been made lightly. The Lake has been checked daily since the 18th in the hope that the event could take place as planned.
Water Activities, GWS Region