Southern Grampians Shire Council Logo
Skip Links

Water Quality | Lake Hamilton & Grangeburn

Lake Hamilton

Lake Hamilton is fed by urban stormwater overland flow and Grangeburn, which runs through predominately agricultural land. Water flowing into Lake Hamilton contains nutrients, sediment, E.coli and salt, which impedes the lake’s water quality.

Large quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus from animal manure, on-farm superphosphate applications, garden fertilisers and detergents act as a nutrient source for the blue-green algae to grow and flourish, leading to the current water quality problems. Animal manure, dog faeces and sewage which is not properly disposed of may contribute to elevated E-coli levels in water bodies particularly during high rainfall and flood events.

Council has undertaken a number of Lake Hamilton water quality improvement projects, including installation of swales to assist with the removal of contaminations from the stormwater prior to the water entering Lake Hamilton. Working in partnership with Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and landholders Grangeburn upstream of Lake Hamilton, installing fencing to the protect edge of the Grangeburn eroding and prevent cattle polluting the Grangeburn water.

What can I do to improve Grangeburn and Lake Hamilton water quality?

  • Fence livestock away from waterways
  • Make sure that detergents are not entering the stormwater system by not washing cars in the driveway or on the street so that the runoff flows into the stormwater drain
  • Pick up dog faeces and dispose in the bin
  • Place rubbish in bins
  • Ensure all wastewater plumbing for toilets, sinks, showers, basins and dishwasher are connected to reticulated (town) sewerage or a Council approved septic system
  • Pump out septic tanks and have them inspected by a licensed plumber every 3 years
  • Service your Aerated Wastewater Septic System (i.e. Ozzi Kleen, Biocycle, Aqa Nova, Turbo Jet 2000 and Fiji Clean) by a qualified wastewater technician every three months as per manufacturer instructions

Water Quality Monitoring

Council operates a regular and stringent monitoring regime of Lake Hamilton to monitor temperature, pH, blue green algae, E.coli and nutrient levels. The Environmental Health Department monitors Lake Hamilton throughout the year. In the event that Blue Green Algae and E.coli levels are elevated, water quality monitoring continues to monitor water quality levels.

Water Quality Warnings

Water quality warnings are issued for Lake Hamilton when the water contains unacceptable Blue Green Algae and E.coli levels to protect you and your animals from harm. Lake Hamilton is not to be used for recreation or commercial purposes whilst Blue Green Algae and E.coli warnings are issued. This includes rowing, water skiing, sailing, fishing, swimming, use and testing of watercraft and provision of drinking water for animals. You can use Lake Hamilton walking track, picnic areas, playgrounds and skate park whilst Blue Green Algae and E.coli warning signage is erected.

Lake Hamilton water quality warnings are displayed on Council’s website, signage on Lake Hamilton foreshore and at the Hamilton Visitor Information Centre. Notification of Lake Hamilton water quality can be sought by contacting Council on 03 5573 0444 or Hamilton Visitor Information Centre on 1800 807 056.

For more immediate notification of Lake Hamilton water quality warnings there is a contact list developed by Councils Environmental Health Department that notifies contacts by email of any identified issues. If you wish to be added to this contact list please contact Council’s Environmental Health Department on 03 5573 0444 and provide your details.

Refer to the Blue Green Algae Factsheet / FAQ for further information.

What's the health concern with elevated blue green algae and E-coli levels?

Contact with water containing Blue Green Algae can cause skin irritations, diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, damage to the liver, nerve damage, muscle weakness and muscles spasms.

Contact with water containing E-coli can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, gastroenteritis, severe stomach cramp, urinary tract infection and kidney failure.

For information on recreation use of Lake Hamilton, please follow this link to our Use of Hamilton Lake webpage.

Environmental Health Department
1 Market Place
Hamilton Vic 3300
Phone (03) 5573 0256
Customer Service
Phone (03) 5573 0444
Hamilton Visitors Information Centre
Phone 1800 807 056

Powered by