​At Thursday’s Council meeting a decision was made to continue the Diatomix trial at the Modellers Pond for a further five months at a cost of $130,000 to fully assess its effectiveness.

The trial began in August at the recommendation of the Working Party that has been established to look at the ongoing problem of the growth of weed and algae that has plagued the pond for many years.

This trial involved dosing the pond with Diatomix which encourages diatom growth which then limits the nutrients available for the growth of other algae and weeds.

Members of the Working Party have been heavily involved in the trial and Council thanked them for the effort they have been putting into it. The Working Party is of the view that the trial is making a significant difference.

While, after the three month trial, algae has continued to grow, it appears to be at far lower levels than at the same time in previous years, which indicates the Diatomix may be having a positive effect.

This trial has been challenging to manage due the sensitivity of the pond environment. One of the key issues is the need to improve circulation within the pond and this, as well as other factors has led to increased costs for the trial.

Councillor Stuart Walker, co-chair of the Working Party says “Our observations are that this trial is having an impact. Those who have been involved with the pond for many years say they can see the difference. Based on current progress, I think extending the trial is the prudent thing to do. Giving it this extra time and doing some more work around improving circulation will give us a clear picture of how effective it is. At the moment, we’re feeling optimistic.” 

“It unfortunate that the dead yellow algae are still rising to the surface, which makes it look horrible but that is part of process. We will be removing this progressively during the remainder of the trial,” Councillor Walker says.

While deciding to extend the trial, Council also indicated that other options should be considered in case it doesn’t prove successful after the hotter summer months.