Naracoorte Swimming Lake vandalism: Big clean-up bill avoided

A potential $20,000 repair bill for vandalism at the Naracoorte Swimming Lake has been avoided.

Naracoorte Lucindale Council was considering the drastic option of draining the lake in order to remove glass from a number of smashed bottles – which would have potentially cost $20,000 and delayed the opening of the swimming season.

The council released a statement last Thursday saying that draining the 9 million litres of water was a very real option after the smashed bottles were discovered in the newly filled lake.

But fortunately, the situation has been rectified with the help of volunteers and staff members giving their time and expertise.

Council CEO Trevor Smart said community volunteers Chris and Jessie Haynes and staff member Steve Bourne had been able to remove the glass using diving equipment last weekend.

He said it was a much quicker and cheaper solution than the alternative.

“From our perspective we believe we’ve cleaned up any significant pieces of glass, and an industrial (vacuum) cleaner will be brought in today or tomorrow to clean up any finer glass remaining.

“At this stage we don’t think we’ll need to drain the lake.

“If we couldn’t remove the glass, if we weren’t confident we could get it all, we would have had to empty, clean and refill.

“At this stage there has been a minimal cost thanks to volunteerism and staff giving their time.”

News that the lake had been vandalised caused an angry public reaction when it reached social media last week.

Despite the lake being full of water, the council has issued a warning that people shouldn’t swim in it until the official start of the swimming season, for a number of reasons including that chemical levels are still being balanced. The opening date hasn’t yet been finalised by the council.

The council has said previously that if vandalism such as broken glass occurs, the swimming lake could potentially be drained and not refilled for the remainder of the summer.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Unfortunately, the opening of the Naracoorte Swimming Lake may be delayed due to vandalism.

At least three smashed glass bottles have been found in the recently filled Swimming Lake. All attempts to remove the glass without draining the lake are being made - if the glass cannot be removed Council will be required to drain and re-fill the Swimming Lake.

This is disappointing for a number of reasons:

1. Wastage of 9 million litres of water

2. Five days to drain

3. One day to clean

4. Five days to infill

5. Five days to water balance

6. Additional costs to clean, re-treat the water, etc.

7. Weed removal along the Naracoorte Creek delayed due to water from the Swimming Lake draining into the Creek.

8. Three week delay to opening of the lake for the public

9. An approximate cost of $20,000

Council is seeking the community’s support to ensure no further incidents. This incident has been reported to the police. Any information regarding the offence should be reported to the police.

The Swimming Lake is a Dry Zone – alcohol consumption is prohibited at all times. To ensure the safety of everyone using the Lake ensure you comply with the Swimming Lake Responsibility Code on display at the Lake.