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Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre – Biological Monitoring Program

The Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre (LMWQCC) processes most of the Australian Capital Territory’s wastewater before releasing it back into the Molonglo River. Our biological monitoring program (BMP) guarantees that the discharged water is of satisfactory quality, meaning it won't have any adverse effects on the critical aquatic species like fish and macroinvertebrates (small bugs in the river). The riparian zone (vegetation surrounding our river systems) is also monitored. 

Since 1996, the Murrumbidgee and Molonglo Rivers have been subject to biological, chemical and microbiological monitoring. This monitoring aims to investigate the potential ecological impact of treated wastewater effluent discharged into the waterways.  

We carry out a biological monitoring program following the schedule laid out in our LMWQCC Environmental Management Plan.This program monitors different aquatic indicators such as water quality, macroinvertebrates, algae, instream vegetation, fish and landscape characteristics in the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee rivers. The collected data is analysed using national river health guidelines to compare upstream and downstream of the water quality control centre. So far, there have been no significant impacts on the biological health of the ecosystem. Our findings indicate that the area's fish and instream aquatic health are doing well. 

We strive to protect downstream aquatic ecologies through ongoing management and wastewater process improvements. The BMP is an essential tool to evaluate our river's health and monitor any changes caused by the plant's discharge over time.