Lake Conjola Management Information

Shoalhaven City Council has been working with the Lake Conjola Community Association and the NSW State Government to manage the lake and its entrance, following the closure of the lake in April 2018. Council appreciates that the closure of the lake and raised lake levels have been the cause of anxiety for residents and visitors of Lake Conjola. The lake was opened using mechanical intervention on 10 February 2020, as by 3:08am the Lake had reached its emergency trigger level of 1.31m Australian Height Datum.

Council has created this “Get Involved” project page to assist the community in accessing up to date information on the management of the Lake and the entrance. Council will be providing timelines, reports, studies, resolutions and works that Council is undertaking to improve the health of Lake Conjola and manage the flooding risk on this page.

This page provides the following information and functions:

Coastal Management Program (CMP)

The Shoalhaven Coastal Zone Management Plan was certified by the NSW Minister for Environment in September 2018. This Plan will act as the guiding plan for management of the open (open to ocean swell) coast until 2021, whilst a Coastal Management Plan (CMP) is being prepared.

On 14 February 2019, Councillors and Council staff met with the Lake Conjola Community Association, State Government Agencies including NSW Crown Lands, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Department of Primary Industries and State Member for the South Coast Hon. Shelley Hancock.

This meeting was to discuss the review of the Interim Lake Conjola Entrance Management Policy and future directions for the management of Lake Conjola. At this meeting it was resolved to apply to the NSW Government Coast and Estuary Program for funds to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP), as per the requirements of the NSW Coastal Management Act 2016 and the manual. Read more...

Entrance Management – Crown Land Licence Application to Remove Plug from Pilot Channel

Lake Conjola entrance closed in April 2018, after being open since June 2016. In May water sampling commenced as is traditionally carried out during a lake closure and in accordance with the Entrance Management Policy (EMP). In July, the Conjola Community Association began expressing concerns about the Lake closure and water quality and requested that Council open the Lake.

A short summary of events leading to Council's application for a Crown Land Licence to remove the plug from the pilot channel is provided in an article below. Read more...


Shoalhaven City Council has been working with the Lake Conjola Community Association and the NSW State Government to manage the lake and its entrance, following the closure of the lake in April 2018. Council appreciates that the closure of the lake and raised lake levels have been the cause of anxiety for residents and visitors of Lake Conjola. The lake was opened using mechanical intervention on 10 February 2020, as by 3:08am the Lake had reached its emergency trigger level of 1.31m Australian Height Datum.

Council has created this “Get Involved” project page to assist the community in accessing up to date information on the management of the Lake and the entrance. Council will be providing timelines, reports, studies, resolutions and works that Council is undertaking to improve the health of Lake Conjola and manage the flooding risk on this page.

This page provides the following information and functions:

Coastal Management Program (CMP)

The Shoalhaven Coastal Zone Management Plan was certified by the NSW Minister for Environment in September 2018. This Plan will act as the guiding plan for management of the open (open to ocean swell) coast until 2021, whilst a Coastal Management Plan (CMP) is being prepared.

On 14 February 2019, Councillors and Council staff met with the Lake Conjola Community Association, State Government Agencies including NSW Crown Lands, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Department of Primary Industries and State Member for the South Coast Hon. Shelley Hancock.

This meeting was to discuss the review of the Interim Lake Conjola Entrance Management Policy and future directions for the management of Lake Conjola. At this meeting it was resolved to apply to the NSW Government Coast and Estuary Program for funds to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP), as per the requirements of the NSW Coastal Management Act 2016 and the manual. Read more...

Entrance Management – Crown Land Licence Application to Remove Plug from Pilot Channel

Lake Conjola entrance closed in April 2018, after being open since June 2016. In May water sampling commenced as is traditionally carried out during a lake closure and in accordance with the Entrance Management Policy (EMP). In July, the Conjola Community Association began expressing concerns about the Lake closure and water quality and requested that Council open the Lake.

A short summary of events leading to Council's application for a Crown Land Licence to remove the plug from the pilot channel is provided in an article below. Read more...


  • Water testing Update - 17 February 2020

    28 days ago
    Water testing 17 feb 202

    4 March 2020

    The water quality in Lake Conjola continues to be safe for human contact activities such as swimming and recreational activities.

    Water quality testing, before and after the rain event that occurred from 8 to 10 February 2020, continues. Additional water quality testing of the creeks leading into the Lake Conjola catchment is underway.

    The entrance to the ocean was mechanically opened on 10 February when the emergency level was reached. Combined ground water monitoring, lake and estuary monitoring was undertaken on 17 February with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

    As at Monday 17 February the...

    4 March 2020

    The water quality in Lake Conjola continues to be safe for human contact activities such as swimming and recreational activities.

    Water quality testing, before and after the rain event that occurred from 8 to 10 February 2020, continues. Additional water quality testing of the creeks leading into the Lake Conjola catchment is underway.

    The entrance to the ocean was mechanically opened on 10 February when the emergency level was reached. Combined ground water monitoring, lake and estuary monitoring was undertaken on 17 February with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

    As at Monday 17 February the water quality in the lake, despite the flood event and debris from adjoining land and bushfire impacted properties upstream is good with slight increases in faecal coliforms and enterococci, as expected, during heavy rain. Below is a table with a comprehensive summary of the sites sampled on 17 February 2020.

    The lake level, at 26 February 2020,was 0.50m Australian Height Datum (AHD).

    For more information on the the latest height levels visit the Bureau of Meteorology webpage.


  • Lake Conjola Funding Application Lodged With NSW State Government

    about 1 month ago
    Lake conjola image

    17 February 2020

    A funding application was lodged with the NSW State Government on Friday, 14 February 2020 for urgent long term sustained opening of Lake Conjola to the sea under the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program – Financial Assistance for Bushfire Affected Coastal Waterways.

    The 2019/20 bushfires in Conjola Park, Lake Conjola and surrounding areas had a significant impact on the land, the lake and the residents. While over 80 per cent of land in the Shoalhaven local government area was impacted by fire, Lake Conjola and its surrounds was the most severely impacted area.

    The Lake was mechanically...

    17 February 2020

    A funding application was lodged with the NSW State Government on Friday, 14 February 2020 for urgent long term sustained opening of Lake Conjola to the sea under the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program – Financial Assistance for Bushfire Affected Coastal Waterways.

    The 2019/20 bushfires in Conjola Park, Lake Conjola and surrounding areas had a significant impact on the land, the lake and the residents. While over 80 per cent of land in the Shoalhaven local government area was impacted by fire, Lake Conjola and its surrounds was the most severely impacted area.

    The Lake was mechanically opened on 10th February 2020. Council needs to undertake additional emergency work as quickly as possible to reduce the likely hood of the lake entrance closing. The aim of these works is to ensure the necessary flushing of the Lake, for both the lake’s and community health. As a result of the urgent nature of these works this project cannot wait until the opening of the next funding round.

    To view the complete application package visit the Lake Conjola Get Involved Library.

  • Emergency Opening Lake Conjola 

    about 2 months ago
    Lake conjola opening
    10 February 2020
    Lake Conjola was opened at 11:30am on 10 February 2020 using mechanical intervention.
    To minimise the potential danger to operational staff the Lake has been opened before the next High Tide reaches its peak. Weather conditions are expected to continue to change throughout the day, with the addition of an expected possible thunderstorm later this afternoon, which may impact on opening operations.
    Council Engineers are onsite conducting a safety assessment, to ensure the lake entrance is opened to minimise the potential impact of expected High Tides. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) have predicted a high tide of...

    10 February 2020
    Lake Conjola was opened at 11:30am on 10 February 2020 using mechanical intervention.
    To minimise the potential danger to operational staff the Lake has been opened before the next High Tide reaches its peak. Weather conditions are expected to continue to change throughout the day, with the addition of an expected possible thunderstorm later this afternoon, which may impact on opening operations.
    Council Engineers are onsite conducting a safety assessment, to ensure the lake entrance is opened to minimise the potential impact of expected High Tides. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) have predicted a high tide of 1.8 metres around midday on Monday, 10 February 2020.

    Across the weekend Council’s flood engineers have been monitoring the Lake Conjola site, along with other Shoalhaven sites. On Sunday night the lake level was around 0.6 m AHD, However, with subsequent significant rainfall, by 3:08am the Lake had reached its emergency level of 1.31m AHD.
    Operational staff will continue to monitor weather and ocean conditions as the operation continues.
    Residents in Lake Conjola are requested to stay outside the work area and keep away from the edges of the dug channel and eroding banks following opening as these areas are very unstable and unsafe.
    It is expected that the low-lying areas around the lake will be subject to flooding and people should put in place their flood emergency plan.

    Council is reminding residents that anyone needing assistance should contact the SES on 132 500.
  • Water Testing Update – 15 January 2020

    2 months ago
    Image2 water sampling sites edit
    30 January 2020

    The water quality in Lake Conjola continues to be safe for human contact activities such as swimming and water skiing.

    Water quality testing continued during January and sampling conducted shows that the water quality in the lake continues to be safe for human contact activities as of 15 January 2020. Weekly testing will continue during the summer months

    Lake levels as at 24 January 2020 is 0.32m Australia Height Datum (AHD). Lake levels have dropped significantly. On 3 December 2019 lake levels were recorded as 0.50m – and will continue to drop if substantial rainfall is not...

    30 January 2020

    The water quality in Lake Conjola continues to be safe for human contact activities such as swimming and water skiing.

    Water quality testing continued during January and sampling conducted shows that the water quality in the lake continues to be safe for human contact activities as of 15 January 2020. Weekly testing will continue during the summer months

    Lake levels as at 24 January 2020 is 0.32m Australia Height Datum (AHD). Lake levels have dropped significantly. On 3 December 2019 lake levels were recorded as 0.50m – and will continue to drop if substantial rainfall is not received in the catchment.

  • Grey Nurse Shark Relocated From Lake Conjola

    3 months ago
    Shark
  • Lake Conjola Update - Media Release

    3 months ago
    Scc logo colour rgb
    18 December 2019
    As many are aware, Council has been working for the last few days to meet the requirements specified under the Crown Lands Licence to commence the opening of Lake Conjola. This proposed opening had the support of Council, including the Mayor, via a resolution adopted on the 10 December 2019 at Council’s Strategy and Assets meeting.
    Staff worked to ensure that crews and machinery were ready at Cunjurong Point, to immediately commence planned works. Prior to the commencement of any works Council was required to meet with State Government agency representatives to seek their concurrence for works...

    18 December 2019
    As many are aware, Council has been working for the last few days to meet the requirements specified under the Crown Lands Licence to commence the opening of Lake Conjola. This proposed opening had the support of Council, including the Mayor, via a resolution adopted on the 10 December 2019 at Council’s Strategy and Assets meeting.
    Staff worked to ensure that crews and machinery were ready at Cunjurong Point, to immediately commence planned works. Prior to the commencement of any works Council was required to meet with State Government agency representatives to seek their concurrence for works to occur. This is in accordance with the terms of the Crown Lands Licence issued to Council, for the previous lake opening. This meeting was held onsite.
    The outcome of the onsite meeting confirmed that the shorebird nesting area was within close proximity to the proposed works area and within the buffer required for protection.
    We all acknowledge the importance of protecting all threatened species and it is vital therefore, that any proposed works to improve the amenity of Lake Conjola, would not impact on the habitat of the shorebirds.
    Therefore, it has been concluded that the location of the opening would need to be amended or any opening deferred until the birds have moved on.
    Following discussions with the Lake Conjola Community Association Representatives, we advise that despite every effort and our best attempts, the opening will not be able to be undertaken prior to Christmas.
    Council will continue to work with agencies to ensure that the finalisation of an amended Crown Lands Licence, is expediated to facilitate a possible opening in the New Year.
    We can also advise that, to address the Community’s concerns, the Department of Primary Industries Fisheries will, over the next few days, be attempting to catch the Grey Nurse shark that has been sighted in the lake. If caught, the shark will be transported to a safe release point on the beach.
    Please be assured that Council has worked hard to try and achieve a positive outcome for the community and will continue to work towards an opening of the lake as soon as possible.

  • Lake Conjola Sand Spit Survey Update - December 2019

    4 months ago
    Lake conjola spit survey
    Council's December 2019 survey of the Lake Conjola sand spit measures the width of the spit (east to west) at 280 metres. The sand spit berm height is between 2.12 metres at the highest point, at the central location, to 1.93 metres above mean sea level (AHD) at the lowest point, at the southern spit area.


    Council's December 2019 survey of the Lake Conjola sand spit measures the width of the spit (east to west) at 280 metres. The sand spit berm height is between 2.12 metres at the highest point, at the central location, to 1.93 metres above mean sea level (AHD) at the lowest point, at the southern spit area.


  • Did you know that Council is continuing to take water samples weekly seven sites across the lake?

    4 months ago
    Aqua data image

    You can look up the water quality results for each site in AquaData. This is a Council water quality portal that allows the public to look up data as it arrives from the National Association of Testing Authorities' registered laboratory, ALS Global. A lot of this data goes back to the 1990’s.


    You can look up the water quality results for each site in AquaData. This is a Council water quality portal that allows the public to look up data as it arrives from the National Association of Testing Authorities' registered laboratory, ALS Global. A lot of this data goes back to the 1990’s.


  • Water Testing Update - December 2019

    4 months ago
    Lake conjola %2813%29

    The water quality in Lake Conjola continues to be in great condition and safe for human contact activities such as swimming and water skiing.

    This is not expected to change over the upcoming holiday period unless the catchment receives rainfall that results in runoff into the lake.

    Lake levels, at as at 3 December 2019, is 0.50m Australian Height Datum (AHD). The Lake levels will continue to decline if substantial rainfall is not received in the catchment.

    The water quality in Lake Conjola continues to be in great condition and safe for human contact activities such as swimming and water skiing.

    This is not expected to change over the upcoming holiday period unless the catchment receives rainfall that results in runoff into the lake.

    Lake levels, at as at 3 December 2019, is 0.50m Australian Height Datum (AHD). The Lake levels will continue to decline if substantial rainfall is not received in the catchment.

  • Old Tip Site Monitoring

    5 months ago
    Tip map

    In February 2019, Council staff met with the Lake Conjola Community Association to address community concerns regarding the possibility of leachate contamination from the old Lake Conjola landfill site building up in the waters of the lake.

    At the time sampling was conducted on 25 February 2019, the creek line to the south of Lake Conjola’s old Landfill was found to be dry. A sample was taken from the north-western arm of Padimores Lagoon (as shown on the map below). The sample was saline with the lagoon water level extending into the surrounding vegetation as shown in the image below.

    ...

    In February 2019, Council staff met with the Lake Conjola Community Association to address community concerns regarding the possibility of leachate contamination from the old Lake Conjola landfill site building up in the waters of the lake.

    At the time sampling was conducted on 25 February 2019, the creek line to the south of Lake Conjola’s old Landfill was found to be dry. A sample was taken from the north-western arm of Padimores Lagoon (as shown on the map below). The sample was saline with the lagoon water level extending into the surrounding vegetation as shown in the image below.

    The sample was tested by a National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) registered laboratory for the same parameters that the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) requires for existing landfills. The results found that the parameters tested were below the limits of detection for Organochlorine pesticides, Organophosphate pesticides, poly aromatic hydrocarbons and petroleum hydrocarbons.

    On 26 March 2019, at its Ordinary Meeting, Council resolved (MIN19.4) to undertake an investigation into the possible contamination from the old tip site.

    A report was prepared and submitted to Council’s Strategy & Assets Meeting on 14 May 2019 at which Council resolved (MIN19.307) to fund further investigation and sampling.


    Independent environmental consultants were commissioned to conduct a soil and groundwater investigation at the Lake Conjola Waste Transfer Station.

    The results for soil report concentrations are below the adopted Site Assessment Criteria for residential land use or the Laboratory Limit of Reporting (LOR) and the results for groundwater do not report any significant exceedances of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (2018) Trigger Values.

    The results of the soil and groundwater investigation and sampling is available at Lake Conjola Soil and Ground Water Assessment.