THE smell is not unbearable yet, but if the rain continues around Rocky Creek Dam at Woodburn the air will be hard to breathe, according to David Pont, Water Manager for the Water and Carbon Group based in Lismore.
“It’s the sulphides in the air,” he said, “which are part of the bacterial breakdown of organic matter when water builds up.”
While Mr Pont said the amount of rain that had fallen recently hadn’t been enough to create much concern, he was responding to The Northern Star’s report regarding the possible black water event of fish kills in the area.
“While the paper was advised and reported that ‘nothing can be done’ about black water events and other acid sulphate soil related issues, this should not be accepted,” he said.
“Along with work from SCU and other agencies, we have methods and strategies that address the fundamental causes and conditions (of black water events) which include drainage of the wetlands.”
Mr Pont advised that trial projects into maintaining wetland areas and their restoration showed that the process would work to prevent another major fish kill.
“We get a massive fish kill every few years,” he said. “It is also an annual event that we have poor water quality and struggling fish.”
Mr Pont said no one was at fault as the events were part of the history of the area.
“We all have the common goal though of trying to fix the river,” he said.
“Now is the time to act.
“There is strong community support and it only requires some initiative from government.”