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    09035: Implementing the Swan–Canning river system Water Quality Improvement Plan

    Sludge contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbons was treated and removed from the Anvil Way Compensation Basin as part of this project. The basin has since been converted into a living wetland. Courtesy Swan River Trust
    Sludge contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbons was treated and removed from the Anvil Way Compensation Basin as part of this project. The basin has since been converted into a living wetland. Courtesy Swan River Trust

    The Swan-Canning river system is under pressure from high nutrient levels.

    More than 250 tonnes of nitrogen and 26 tonnes of phosphorus enter the system each year-almost 50 per cent more than it can assimilate. Algae blooms, low oxygen levels, fish kills and loss of biodiversity have resulted, with impacts compounded by below-average rainfall and changes to hydrology.

    The Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP) for the system identifies farming activities in the Ellen Brook sub-catchment as the main source of phosphorous pollution. The main source of nitrogen pollution is residential and recreational activities in urban sub-catchments.

    The Swan River Trust and the Department of Water are working with the community to implement projects targeting sub-catchments that contribute the greatest amount of nutrient to the system.

    Structural interventions to be implemented include:

    • nutrient-stripping wetlands
    • stock exclusion
    • restoration of riparian zones
    • removal of contaminated sediment
    • application of nutrient-binding material (Phoslock).

    Light industry in the Welshpool and Kewdale areas will also be audited to identify and reduce the sources of nutrient and contaminants.

    Investment: $ 3 190 000
    Delivery organisation: Swan River Trust and Department of Water
    Project duration: November 2009 - December 2011
    Location: Swan–Canning river system

    More information

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