Council to nurse Bli Bli pond back to health
  • Saturday 03 July 2010

Sunshine Coast Council will begin work from Tuesday 6 July to improve the health of the Bli Bli pond, after sediment build-up and the waste from nesting birds have reduced the water quality and caused algae blooms.

Division Nine Councillor Vivien Griffin said that the 50 year-old artificially created pond originally served as a water source for grazing cattle, but lately the pond’s health has declined.

“Three main factors have contributed to the pond’s decline in health,” Cr Griffin said.

“The volume of the pond is too large for the catchment area and as a result normal stormwater flows are not able to flush it often enough, causing some areas in the pond to become stagnant and blue-green algae blooms to reoccur.

“The normal water level of the pond is too high for the established paper bark trees, which normally need a fluctuating water level. This has caused the trees to die as their roots become permanently water logged.

“And lastly, a large influx of roosting migratory birds, such as Cattle Egrets and Ibis, have become permanently established, bringing with them lice, dust, feathers and a problematic amount of waste and noise—all contributing to poor water quality, algae blooms and also potential health risks.”

Cr Griffin said that the pond plays an important role in the local area.

“The pond serves as a flood detention basin that takes flood and storm water from the surrounding residential community,” Cr Griffin said.

“It is also quite significant to the local community, but the smell from the stagnant water and mess and noise from the birds have become too much, so it needs to be fixed.

“Two options were available to council—either decommission the pond or keep the pond and improve it.

“After seeking feedback from the local residents, and assessing the constraints of the sites, council has decided to go with the second option.

“This will involve replacing the pond outlet so that council can better control the water level, which will improve the flushing of the pond and give the paper bark trees a better chance at survival.

“Some of the stagnant areas will be back filled, and the island reconnected to improve flow through the pond and deter large numbers of Ibis from roosting on the island.

“Council has also consulted with the Commonwealth and state governments and gained the necessary approvals to remove some of the nesting trees before the next breeding season.

“The trees will be replaced with smaller plants that will not support the problematic numbers of nesting birds.

“Once the works are complete, council will continue to monitor the pond. If anyone has any questions please contact council’s Waterways, Coastal and Catchments Team on 5441 9335.”

All the trees that are removed will be offset by planting the same species at a more appropriate site.