5 May 2024

EPA reports back on health of Tantangara Dam after reports of fish kills and blue-green algae

| Edwina Mason
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A NSW Environmental Protection Authority spokesperson said the regulator was aware of a naturally occurring algal bloom in Tantangara Dam that is known to occur in the region after warm weather. Photo: Supplied.

Public concerns about a widespread algal bloom in Tantangara Dam, near Adaminaby in the NSW Snowy Mountains, in March have been allayed by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (NSW EPA), which says it appears to be unrelated to the nearby Snowy 2.0 construction site.

A further report of a fish kill in the dam was also investigated but unable to be verified, an EPA spokesperson said.

In late January 2024, the EPA and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries received a report of a fish kill at Tantangara Dam.

“We inspected the dam with DPI Fisheries and were unable to verify the fish kill,” they said.

They further confirmed water-sampling results had not identified any pollution in the water.

“EPA officers were on site at Tantangara Dam on Tuesday, 9 April, and water quality appears to be improving,” the spokesperson added. “No dead fish were observed.”

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The spokesperson said the EPA was aware of a naturally occurring algal bloom in Tantangara Dam that is known to occur in the region following warm weather.

They also responded to community fears that polluted water was being released by Snowy 2.0 into Lake Eucumbene via Providence Portal, saying it had reviewed water-monitoring data from Snowy Hydro weekly, and other than algae, no other pollutants had been identified in the dam.

The spokesperson said Snowy Hydro Limited (Snowy Hydro) had a statutory obligation under the Snowy Water Licence, issued under the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act 1997, to transfer water from Tantangara Dam.

The EPA has confirmed it is monitoring the Snowy 2.0 site to ensure compliance with the environmental laws.

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