Lake Horowhenua boat wash now open for use

By: Media Release


A boat wash-down facility to reduce the risk of further lake weed species being introduced to Lake Horowhenua is now open for use.

Lake Horowhenua boat wash now open for use
The boat wash will reduce the possibility of aquatic weed in Lake Horowhenua.

Located about 600m from the lake at the end of Queen Street in Levin, the boat wash design and construction was made possible with $20,000 from the lake's $1.27 million restoration fund. This includes $540,000 from the Ministry for the Environment's Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-Up Fund, and $730,500 of combined funding from Horizons Regional Council, Horowhenua District Council, the Tararua Growers Association and Dairy NZ.

The fund will be used for projects designed to improve the health of the lake largely through the reduction of sediment and nutrient input. The goal is to make it fit for recreational purposes; a better habitat for native fish, birds and wetland plants; and improve public accessibility to the lake.

Lake Horowhenua Accord chairman Matthew Sword says excessive lake weed is a key issue and that the boat wash will reduce the possibility of aquatic weed from elsewhere being transferred into Lake Horowhenua.

"The weed helps to a certain point by drawing out nutrients, but too much weed creates problems."

Mr Sword says a feature of the boat wash is that the soapy and dirty water run-off will go into the sewerage reticulation and straight to Levin's wastewater treatment plant, and not into the stormwater system.

Other projects underway include lake weed harvesting, as well as planting along riparian strips with 1000 trees and shrubs already planted along the Hokio Stream last month and another 650 planted alongside the Arawhata Stream last week. A community planting day is planned for September, with a date and location to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, earlier this month Horizons Regional Council launched a new boat to monitor the lake's water quality.

Horizons' science team samples lake water quality on a monthly basis to assess its trophic level – a measure of lake health. Continuous monitoring of dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, temperature and algae levels is also carried out via a lake buoy.

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