Project Details

WSUD Category: Wetland/lake algae management

Development Type: Public Open Space
Function/Driver: Water quality
Government Area: City of Busselton
Year Completed: still in development


Type of wetland

  • ☒ Natural                   ☐ Constructed
  • Comments: The effect of flow diversion to the Vasse Diversion Drain and impoundment by elevated land downstream have led to the Lower Vasse River acting as an elongated “lake” area from late spring to late autumn.

Wetland management issue

Owing to increased inputs of nutrients from catchment sources, and the still conditions created by impoundment, the Lower Vasse River is eutrophic. Extremely high nutrient concentrations, particularly phosphorus, and ideal physical conditions drive severe seasonal algal blooms for up to seven months from November to May. Algal blooms cause unsightly water discoloration and scums and unpleasant odours. These blooms are often dominated by blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) which are potentially toxic and close the waters to public use.

Treatment trialled

  • Name of treatment: Living Streams approach
  • The City of Busselton is developing a Living Streams approach for the Lower Vasse River. The project will involve altering the morphology of the Lower Vasse River to restore ecological processes and create physical conditions that provide greater resilience to high nutrient conditions. The approach will see the creation of diverse habitats including seasonally dry areas, river pools, channels, floodplain areas, riffle zones and islands (floating and grounded). Creation of these habitats will have beneficial ecological outcomes and the potential to provide significant water quality benefits. It may also facilitate the implementation of various in-situ water treatments, such as specialised clays, microbiological products, water circulation and floating islands. This is a large multi-faceted project, still in development.

Date(s) of treatment

  • At preliminary design stage

Outcome of treatment

  • Have water parameters specific to the treatment claims been measured before and after application?  ☒ Yes ☐ No


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