Major Projects
Major ProjectsMajor Projects

Bird Lake Project

Update – 01 May 2019

At the project Information Session in February, we advised that the project was due to start in mid-March. At the beginning of April, Council advised those who attended the Information Session that the start of the Bird Lake Project had been delayed while the sale of the adjacent land, where the proposed borrow pit is located, was being finalised. As you may appreciate, this transfer is a complex matter. This settlement has been further delayed until mid-May. As soon as it has been confirmed that the settlement has been finalised, the community will be informed of the updated start date for the Bird Lake Project.

Bird Lake in Port Augusta is being rehabilitated with local native plants in selected areas to reduce the potential for odour issues and improve the area.

The project is being delivered by the Port Augusta Council with the cooperation of land owners and funding support from the South Australian Government.

Why does Bird Lake smell?

Bird Lake is a part of the Augusta Lakes salt-lake system. In its natural state the lake is not full of water and historically foul odours and biting insects were a problem from time to time.

The odour coming from Bird Lake is mainly caused by decaying mats of algae around the lake edge. The algae grew while the lake was kept full from water that overflowed from an Ash Disposal Area when the Northern Power Station was in operation. When the Power Station closed and the lake dried out, the algal mats were exposed and started to decay. How strong the odour is, is dependent on the wetting and drying of the algal mats.

photo of Bird Lake shoreline in its current state including rubble

Bird Lake current state

How is it being rehabilitated?

Bird Lake is being rehabilitated by covering areas of decaying algal mat around the fringes of the lake with soil and seeding this soil with low growing local native plants that are tolerant of the highly saline and arid conditions. “Capping” the algal mats this way will reduce the potential for odour from the lake. Rubbish scattered around the lake and the old cloth screens adjacent the highway will also either be removed or buried under the capping soil.

The works will take place from March to July 2019 following community, landholder and stakeholder engagement. Follow up seeding may be undertaken in Spring 2019 or Autumn 2020 if appropriate.

Artist's impression of the Bird Lake shoreline with soil and low growing plants covering the existing tideline where algal mats and rubble are present

Bird Lake after rehabilitation (artist’s impression)

Want to in touch or get involved?

To receive updates about the project’s progress or to register your interest to be a part of the project’s community reference group, please send your contact details or call the project at the contact details below. The community reference group will participate through either email updates and or meetings as a way of providing ongoing community input into the project.

0438 102 504 (Project Manager)