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 recent closure of the lake and raised lake levels have been the cause of anxiety for residents and visitors of Lake Conjola.

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 recent closure of the lake and raised lake levels have been the cause of anxiety for residents and visitors of Lake Conjola.

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 – 15 January 2020

    3 days ago
    Image2 water sampling sites edit
    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...

    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

    about 1 month ago
    Shark
  • Lake Conjola Update - Media Release

    about 1 month 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

    about 1 month 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?

    about 2 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

    about 2 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

    3 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.


  • Water Testing Update - October 2019

    3 months ago
    Lake conjola %284%29

    18 October 2019 – The water quality in Lake Conjola is excellent and continues to be safe for human contact activities such as swimming etc. Results for samples taken on the 18 September 2019, after the catchment received approximately 50mm of rain in the previous 24 hours were still well below the water quality guidelines.

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

    You can look up all the water quality results for each site in AquaData. This is a Council water quality portal that...

    18 October 2019 – The water quality in Lake Conjola is excellent and continues to be safe for human contact activities such as swimming etc. Results for samples taken on the 18 September 2019, after the catchment received approximately 50mm of rain in the previous 24 hours were still well below the water quality guidelines.

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

    You can look up all 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 Nata registered laboratory ALS. A lot of this data goes back to the 1990’s.


  • Coastal Management Plan - Update

    3 months ago
    Lake conjola %2816%29

    In June 2019, Council was awarded and signed a grant agreement with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for Lake Conjola. The grant timeframe for the project is from 01/09/2019 to 01/09/2021.

    The first phase of the CMP process, the development of a Scoping Study has commenced. The community engagement phase of the citywide scoping study was rolled out across the city, with six (6) Focus Workshops and Community Information Drop-In Sessions held from 24/9/19 – 3/10/19 at the following locations:

    1. Ulladulla

    2. St Georges Basin

    3. Nowra

    4. Lake...

    In June 2019, Council was awarded and signed a grant agreement with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for Lake Conjola. The grant timeframe for the project is from 01/09/2019 to 01/09/2021.

    The first phase of the CMP process, the development of a Scoping Study has commenced. The community engagement phase of the citywide scoping study was rolled out across the city, with six (6) Focus Workshops and Community Information Drop-In Sessions held from 24/9/19 – 3/10/19 at the following locations:

    1. Ulladulla

    2. St Georges Basin

    3. Nowra

    4. Lake Conjola

    5. Sussex Inlet

    6. Shoalhaven Heads


  • Water Testing Update - September 2019

    3 months ago
    Lake conjola %2811%29

    12 September 2019 - The water sampling results up to 4th September 2019 show that the water quality is excellent with enterococci levels well below the limit of recording in most cases (<1). This means that the water is safe for human contact as per the National Health and Medical Research Guidelines 2008. Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels decreased whilst the lake was open. Chlorophyll-A remains at very low levels and together with low nitrogen and phosphorus readings would indicate a very low risk of algal blooms or compromised water quality in the lake.

    What is noticeable is that after...

    12 September 2019 - The water sampling results up to 4th September 2019 show that the water quality is excellent with enterococci levels well below the limit of recording in most cases (<1). This means that the water is safe for human contact as per the National Health and Medical Research Guidelines 2008. Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels decreased whilst the lake was open. Chlorophyll-A remains at very low levels and together with low nitrogen and phosphorus readings would indicate a very low risk of algal blooms or compromised water quality in the lake.

    What is noticeable is that after rainfall events bacteria levels do increase across all sites as runoff from the catchment feeds into the lake. These levels returned to background levels within a day or two. This is expected across the catchment as pollutants from the land, whether urban or agricultural are washed into the lake. Swimming should be avoided in any catchment or along stormwater affected beaches within 48 hours after rainfall.