Unpleasant odour at Kernot Lake

Alyssa Fritzlaff

MORWELL locals have been reporting an unpleasant odour coming from Kernot Lake in recent weeks.

Latrobe City Council is investigating the issue after receiving a number of reports from community members, and have reached a conclusion.

The smell coming from the lake is in fact, dead fish and eels.

Latrobe City chief executive officer Steven Piasente said that the council recently employed a private lab to test water samples from the lake.

“It was found that the likely cause of fish deaths was the result of an influx of organic material, resulting in a sudden loss of dissolved oxygen within the lake,” Mr Piasente explained.

“Without dissolved oxygen, fish and eels are unable to breathe.”

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and Latrobe City are conducting compliance inspections of local businesses to help uncover the cause.

“A number of potential causes of dissolved oxygen were identified along Bennetts Creek, including commercial and industrial sites,” Mr Piasente said.

“EPA and council are conducting compliance inspections of businesses in the area.”

Mr Piasente reminded locals to not consume fish from the lake, and to avoid contact with the water

“Council would like to remind the community that this situation is not a direct risk to human health, provided fish are not caught and consumed. Contact with the water should also be avoided,” he said.

An EPA spokesperson said they had investigated reports of fish deaths and odour at Kernot Lake in accordance with their guidelines, and reiterated that they and Latrobe City are conducting compliance inspections of business in the area