News & Media releases

New system gives oxygen relief to Canning River

Thursday, 5 March 2015

New $1 million oxygenation plant on the Canning River is complete
Improved conditions for aquatic life

The health of the Canning River has received a boost with the completion of a third $1 million oxygenation plant to help reduce the impact of algal blooms and to prevent fish deaths.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the new plant at Nicholson Road doubled the capacity to provide oxygen relief to the environment upstream of the Kent Street Weir.

“It ensures that an extra 2.2 kilometres of river can have adequate oxygen levels at times when levels drop to a point which harms aquatic life,” Mr Jacob said.

Low oxygen levels mainly occur in summer and autumn and are caused by decomposition of excess organic matter and nutrients.
The Minister said the Liberal National Government had also invested another $1.4 million to upgrade the two older oxygenation plants upstream of the Kent Street Weir which service 2.3km of the Canning River.
“The two older plants, which are now 15 years old, will be upgraded using the latest technology once the performance of the new Nicholson Road plant has been confirmed,” he said.

Mr Jacob said improving oxygen levels in the river helped to provide a refuge for fish, improve nutrient cycling, speed up the breakdown of organic matter and prevented offensive odours.

The oxygenation program is one component of the State Government’s catchment to coast approach to protect and improve the health of the Swan and Canning rivers.

Other initiatives include a $4.2 million investment to build nutrient-stripping wetlands - one on the Ellen Brook in Belhus and a second at the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary in Bayswater - and new regulations to reduce the concentration of phosphorus in domestic fertiliser.

Fact File
The oxygenation program began in 1998 and now includes two plants on the Swan River and three on the Canning River
The plants on the Swan River are at the Guildford Road Bridge and Caversham
The program is managed in partnership with the Swan River Trust and the Department of Water.