Link (this will take you to the journal website). Alternatively, contact us for a reprint.


Staples, K.; Oosthuizen, J.; Lund, M. (2016) Effectiveness of S-Methoprene briquets and applicatio method for mosquito control in urban road gullies/catch basins/gully pots in a Mediterranean climate: Implications for Ross River virus transmission. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 32(3) 000-000

Blanchette, M.L. (2016) The measure of success. Science 353 (6294), 94 link

Kumar, R.N., McCullough, C.D., Lund, M.A. and Larranaga, S.A. (2016) Assessment of factors limiting algal growth in acidic pit lakes—a case study from Western Australia, Australia. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 23(6), 5915-5924.


Galeotti, DM; Castalanelli, MA; Groth, DM; McCullough, C. & Lund, M. (2015) Genotypic and morphological variation between Galaxiella nigrostriata (Galaxiidae) populations: implications for conservation  Marine and Freshwater Research 66 (2), 187-194 link


Van Etten, E. J. B.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2014). Setting goals and choosing appropriate reference sites for restoring mine pit lakes as aquatic ecosystems: a case study from south west Australia. Mining Technology 123(1) 9-19. link


McCullough, C. D.; Marchand, G. & Unseld, J. (2013). Mine closure of pit lakes as terminal sinks: best available practice when options are limited? Mine Water and the Environment (invited paper). 32(4):

Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2013). Upper and lower concentration thresholds for bioremediation of Acid Mine Drainage using bulk organic substrates. Mine Water and the Environment (invited paper). 32:


Van Etten, E. J. B.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2012). Importance of topography and topsoil selection and storage in successfully rehabilitating post-closure sand mines featuring pit lakes. Mining Technology. 121:

Hinwood, A.; Heyworth, J.; Tanner, H. & McCullough, C. D. (2012). Recreational use of acidic pit lakes – human health considerations for post closure planning. Journal of Water Resource and Protection. 4: 1,061-1,070link


Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D.; Lund, M. A. & Newport, M. (2011). Sourcing organic materials for pit lake remediation in remote mining regions. Mine Water and the Environment.

Kumar, R. N.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2011). How does storage affect the quality and quantity of organic carbon in sewage for use in the bioremediation of acidic mine waters? Ecological Engineering. 37:1,205-1,

McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2011). Bioremediation of acidic and metalliferous drainage (AMD) through organic carbon amendment by municipal sewage and green waste. Journal of Environmental Management. 82: 2,419-2,

McCullough, C. D. & Van Etten, E. J. B. (2011). Ecological engineering of a novel lake district: new approaches for new landscapes. Mine Water and the Environment. 30:


Galeotti, D. M.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2010). Black-stripe minnow Galaxiella nigrostriata (Shipway 1953) (Pisces: Galaxiidae), a review and discussion. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 93:

McCullough, C. D. (2008). Approaches to remediation of acid mine drainage water in pit lakes. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment. 22(2):

McCullough, C. D. & Horwitz, P. (2010). Vulnerability of organic acid tolerant wetland biota to the effects of inorganic acidification. Science of the Total Environment 408: 1,868–1,

Van Dam, R. A.; Hogan, A. C.; McCullough, C. D.; Houston, M.; Humphrey, C. L. & Harford, A. (2010). Aquatic toxicity of magnesium sulphate, and the influence of calcium, in low ionic strength water. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 29:


Neil, L.; McCullough, C. D.; Lund, M.A.; Tsvetnenko, Y. & Evans, L. (2009). Bioassay toxicity assessment of mining pit lake water remediated with limestone and phosphorus. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 72: 2,046-2, (Highlighted article).

Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2009). Water resources in Australian mine pit lakes. Mining Technology. 118:


McCullough, C. D.; Lund, M. A. & May, J. M. (2008). Field scale demonstration of the potential for sewage to remediate acidic mine waters. Mine Water and the Environment. 27(1):


McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2006). Opportunities for sustainable mining pit lakes in Australia. Mine Water and the Environment. 25(4):

Books & Book Chapters

IMWA Bunbury Proceedings Cover

McCullough, C. D.; Lund, M. A. & Wyse, L. (eds.) (2012). Proceedings of the International Mine Water Association (IMWA) Symposium, 2012 Bunbury, Western Australia. IMWA & MiWER, Perth, Australia. 877p. PDF  contact us for a copy





McCullough, C. D. (2011). Mine Pit Lakes: Management and Closure. Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), Perth, Australia. 183pp. link


Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2012). Pit lakes in Australia.In: Acidic Pit Lakes – Legacies of surface mining on coal and metal ores. (Ed W. Geller & M. Schultze). Springer, Berlin, Germany. 342-361pp. link

McCullough, C. D. (2012). Closing Western Australian Mine pit lakes. In, Minesite. WA Mining Club, Perth, Australia. 107-109. link


Jones, H. & McCullough, C. D. (2011). Regulator guidance and legislation relevant to pit lakes, In, Mine Pit lakes: Closure and Management, McCullough, C.D. (ed) Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, Australia. 137-152pp. link

Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D. and Lund, M. A. (2011). Bioremediation of pit lake water by sulfate reduction. In, Mine Pit lakes: Closure and Management, McCullough, C. D. (ed) Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, Australia.

Lund M. A.; McCullough C. D. (2011). Restoring pit lakes: factoring in the biology. In, Mine Pit lakes: Closure and Management, McCullough, C. D. (ed.) Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, Australia. 83-90pp. link

Ross, T.; McCullough, C. D. (2011). Health and Safety working around pit lakes, In, Mine Pit Lakes: Closure and Management. McCullough, C. D. (ed) Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, Australia. 167-180pp. link


McCullough, C. D.; Hunt, D. & Evans, L. H. (2009). Sustainable development of open pit mines: creating beneficial end uses for pit lakes. In, Mine Pit Lakes: Characteristics, Predictive Modeling, and Sustainability. Castendyk, D. & Eary, T. (eds.) Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), Kentucky, USA, 249-268pp. link


McCullough, C. D. (2008). Aquatic toxicity assessment across multiple scales. In, Lake Pollution Research Progress, Columbus, F. (ed.) Nova Science Publishers Inc., Hauppauge, New York, USA. link



Point Fraser Monitoring and Evaluation Program






Mark Lund, Michelle Newport, Jay Gonzalez-Pinto, Eddie van Etten, Pascal Scherrer, Rob Davis

History of Point Fraser

Point Fraser is named after the colonial botanist Sir Charles Fraser who explored the Swan River in 1827 when he accompanied Captain Stirling’s expedition. The site was originally named ‘Boodjargabbeelup’ by Noongar peoples, when it was still a peninsula. Prior to 2004, the site was a lawn area containing a car park, a helipad and a shipping container used for bike hire. A stormwater drain (Point Fraser Main Drain) discharged into the river at this point.

After 2000, the City of Perth sort to improve the quality of stormwater discharge to the Swan River and improve aesthetic, recreational and environmental values of the area. This culminated in the Point Fraser redevelopment; the first stage was the creation of a constructed wetland which was completed in 2004. The second stage saw the redevelopment of the remaining area which was completed in 2007.

The constructed wetland

The constructed wetland at Point Fraser is designed to treat stormwater prior to it entering the Swan River (Figure 1). Water enters the wetland from the catchment via a splitter box where low flows are directed into a bubble-up grate (BUG) in W1. High flows which might damage the wetland bypass the wetland and are directed to the River. These high flows typically contain relatively low contaminant levels. Water flows from W1 to W2 (Zone 1), and then when levels exceed those of the weir, water flows into W3 and then W4 (Zone 2) before exiting via a small pipe into the foreshore vegetation (Zone 3) and then into the River. W1 to W4 are lined to prevent interaction with underlying acid sulphate soils. W1 and W2 are covered with a thin layer (approx. 20 mm) of Supersorb activated zeolite clay, while W3 and W4 have an additional layer of soil to grow plants in. To prevent the wetland from drying in summer, water is pumped from Lake Vasto.

Figure 1.    Aerial photograph showing the movement of water (red arrows) through the Point Fraser constructed wetland. Yellow circles mark the fixed inlet and outlet monitoring structures. Sampling sites are indicated as W1 to W4. Imagery adapted from Google Earth, 2010.

The Monitoring Project

The City of Perth commissioned the authors to undertake a 5 year monitoring program to evaluate how the redevelopment was meeting its original objectives. Specifically to monitor, evaluate and report on the following:

  1. The effectiveness of the constructed wetland for treating stormwater;
  2. The quality of wetland habitat (vegetation) for biodiversity (aquatic macroinvertebrates and birds);
  3. Public usage of the reserve
  4. The success of foreshore revegetation.

This is the final annual report summary of the monitoring program and covers the period January to December 2014.

Main findings

  1. In 2014, backflow continued, however it could be estimated more accurately than in previous years and appears less significant than previously thought (Table 1).
  2. Approximately 5 – 10 kg of N and 0.2 – 0.5 kg of P were estimated to enter Point Fraser with approximately 9 kg of N and 0.8 kg of P exported to Zone 3. This represents a removal efficiency of -45 – 11% for N and 20 – 34% for P. Although inputs of N have not substantially altered from 2013, removal efficiency is poor with potential net export. Plants releasing N as a consequence of the high salinities back in 2012 are believed to be cause. It is likely that removal efficiency for N will improve in 2015 as the plants recover. This illustrates the limitations with using plants as the main uptake pathway for nutrients – under some conditions nutrients can be released. Phosphorus removal remains very high. Overall the wetland is working well at nutrient removal. Flows were only a small fraction of that which the wetland was designed for and this is likely enhancing nutrient removal.
  3. Wetland vegetation is growing well, however Juncus kraussii is now out-competing all other species and Baumea articulata and Typha domingensis are almost extinct within the wetland and Eleocharis acuta has a very limited distribution (Figure 2). The plants are now so thick that they are interfering with water flow through the wetland and action is needed to improve the water flow path.

Figure 2.    Map of vegetation types and other cover as of October 2014.

  1. Total N on a number of occasions (78% of samples) exceeded the target concentrations for discharge. Removal of P appeared successful in preventing exceedances of the target values for discharge (ANZECC/ARMCANZ, 2000; Swan River Trust, 2009a, b).
  2. As salinities within the wetland dropped, there is evidence that aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity returned to 2010 levels.
  3. Point Fraser does not appear to be a destination of choice for people but is used extensively by people exercising or parking to access the city. Most respondents viewed Point Fraser positively with 91% stating they would visit again. There was concern about the lack of facilities, although it was accepted that the commercial development may address these. A few respondents were not supportive of commercial developments at Point Fraser fearing their impact on the environment. The time taken for the commercial development to be completed was also identified as an issue by the majority of users. About a Bike Hire is a key driver for current recreational activities within the parkland.

Table 1.    Water and nutrient budget for the Point Fraser wetland, including removal efficiency for nutrients. Numbers in brackets are total inputs without losses due to backflow. Removal efficiency determined from total input (excluding backflow) and total output.


Water (m3)

N (g)

P (g)

TSS (kg)



4,269 – 8208


297 – 571






Top-up from Vasto












6,198 – 10,110


207 – 481
















Removal Efficiency


-45 – 11%

20 – 34%

38 – 73%



Point Fraser was developed in 2004 to convert former lawn area to a recreation space, with environmental values. In addition, a wetland was constructed to intercept and treat a stormwater drain from East Perth (catchment 18.3 ha) that had previously discharged untreated into the Swan River.

  1. The quality of urban stormwater discharging to the Swan River long term, as a result of the redevelopment of Point Fraser by determining the amount of pollutant removal via the constructed wetland;
  1. The on-going ecological health of the constructed wetland via its conformance with relevant water quality guidelines and legislation requirements.

Results suggest that water quality is generally within the normal ranges that might be expected in stormwater wetland on the Swan Coastal Plain. A major issue over the 5 years of the project has been salt intrusion into the wetland from influx of saline Swan River water during high tides. It appears that the 2013 installation of a valve on the outflow from W4 has substantially reduced salt levels within the system.

The team has identified in previous years issues associated with the inlet structure that means that much of the water (46% of the total water inputs in 2012, 13% in 2014) that enters the wetland later drains back (backflow) into the drainage network, and as such it is effectively lost from the wetland. Backflow is not desirable simply as it would be more useful for the water to move through the wetland, adding to storage and dilution.

In 2014, the wetland was likely a net exporter of nitrogen with a removal efficiency of -24 to 26% but was effective at removing phosphorus (63-70%) and total suspended materials (41-76%). Total N on a number of occasions exceeded the target concentrations for discharge. Removal of P appeared successful in preventing exceedances of the target values for discharge.

Wetland vegetation has survived a series of low rainfall years and high salinities in the wetlands over the project; however Juncus kraussii is out-competing the other species, with all the others on the decline. Although Eleocharis acuta appeared healthy, the degree of coverage has declined substantially. Baumea articulata and Typha domingensis are almost extinct likely due to high salinities in 2012. The impact of the high salinities are only now being felt in low productivity in the plants, with excessive release of nitrogen. This illustrates the role that plants play in nutrient uptake – they are a nutrient pool rather than store. The sediment in W3 was substantially more effective at removing nutrients than the Supersorb clay in W2.

  1. The quality of wetland habitat and the quantity and quality of breeding places for native avifauna presence, behaviours and habitat use;

Biodiversity measured through bird and macroinvertebrate communities showed communities rich in cosmopolitan common taxa. A total of 37 bird species from 23 families have been recorded which is very encouraging given the scale of the wetland. Macroinvertebrate communities have largely recovered from the high salinities of 2012/13.

  1. The quality, quantity and type of recreational and educational use of Point Fraser by determining the diversity of visitor presence, behaviour, use, expectations and satisfaction and awareness of reports/information specific to Point Fraser performance;

Social monitoring was undertaken to see how people use the site. Point Fraser does not appear to be a destination of choice but is used extensively as people pass through it primarily for exercise or park in the car parks to access the city.

  1. The long term integrity and quality of the restoration of the foreshore edge, as a result of the redevelopment of Point Fraser by determining vegetation health and structural reliability.

Foreshore monitoring has revealed erosion and plant loss (including trees) along the foreshore particularly in area 1. Area 2 was largely inaccessible due to construction of the commercial development.

  1. References

ANZECC/ARMCANZ (2000). Australian and New Zealand guidelines for fresh and marine water quality, Volume 2. Aquatic ecosystems – rationale and background Information. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, Canberra.

Swan River Trust (2009a). Local Water Quality Improvement Plan: Mounts Bay Catchment. In: Swan River Trust, (Swan River Trust.Swan River Trusts Swan River Trust). Perth: WA Government.

Swan River Trust (2009b). Swan Canning Water Quality Improvement Plan. In: Swan River Trust, (Swan River Trust.Swan River Trusts Swan River Trust). Perth: WA Government.

Coal pit lake closure by river flow through: risks and opportunities

Mark Lund, Melanie Blanchette, Colm Harkin & Paul Irving

Project background

This project (C23025) builds upon the previous ACARP project (C21038) undertaken by the Mine Water and Environment Research (MiWER) Centre in Collie (Western Australia). In project C21038 we identified that nutrients were limiting algal productivity, water quality improvements, and the development of ecosystem values in coal pit lakes. Small catchments commonly associated with pit lakes appeared to limit natural inputs of nutrients – particularly carbon. Terrestrial leaf litter and other coarse organic material stimulated macroinvertebrate biodiversity. There were increases in taxa abundance and richness and algal productivity, in the pit lakes, despite no improvement in overall water quality. The Collie pit lakes are acidic (pH down to 2), with high concentrations of some metals (such as aluminium) and range from fresh to brackish, yet contain little sulphate. The outcomes of the previous ACARP project (C21038) suggest that developing environmental values (e.g., increasing aquatic biodiversity) could be a valid alternative to meeting (often difficult) water quality guidelines for pit lake closure criteria and subsequent relinquishment.

Connecting a pit lake to natural drainage lines could increase the effective catchment size of the lake. The South Branch of the Collie River was diverted around the pit that would eventually form Lake Kepwari. In 2011, the diversion around the lake failed during storm flows, allowing river water to pass through the lake before returning to the river downstream. Downstream water quality parameters were within ANZECC/ARMCANZ (2000) guidelines for the protection of 80% of ecosystem values. Additionally, the flow-through event appeared to have improved the water quality (increased pH) and environmental values (macroinvertebrate biodiversity) of Lake Kepwari. Following the 2011 breech, a three-year trial allowing the lake to be deliberately connected to the seasonal Collie River was approved by Department of Water (WA).

Project objectives

ACARP project C23025 will use this unique trial to assess the impacts of connecting a river to a pit lake, particularly on downstream aquatic ecosystems. This project is also a trial of the concept that increasing effective catchment size has a positive effect on lake ecology.

The seasonal Collie River is degraded by secondary salinization, resulting in occasional highly saline flows. In ACARP project C23025, we will also assess the effects of saline river water on Lake Kepwari.

The main objective of this project is to determine the risks and opportunities associated with diverting a river through a mine pit lake. Specifically, we will:

  1. Determine the downstream effects of pit-lake decant, with a particular focus on environmental and amenity values.
  2. Determine the effects river of inflow on environmental values and water quality within the pit lake. (Essentially a field-scale demonstration of a key finding from C21038 that larger catchments should enhance pit lake water and environmental quality).
    1. Understand the impact of variably saline river water on mixing within a moderately saline pit lake.
  3. Develop a national standard protocol for seasonal river monitoring that could be applied by the coal industry to manage river flow-throughs (either accidental or planned), as a part of mine closure strategy.

Current activities

To commence this project, we have focused on site selection for monitoring the Collie River South. Sites have to be readily accessible, representative of the aquatic habitats of interest, and reflective of the overall nature of the catchment. We have also identified another local flow- through system for inclusion in the monitoring program. This new system is a small stream – topped up by dewatering flows from Griffin Coal operations–that flows through Stockton pit lake. Increasing replication (i.e., 21 sites across two flow-through systems) will enhance our ability to detect the impacts of river flow-through on river and pit-lake systems. In the process we have identified an additional 30 riverine potential sites in the Collie basin that could be useful for future research.

Regular monitoring of Lake Kepwari (as part of the trial conditions) occurs quarterly and we have added a similar monitoring program for Stockton Lake. Currently we have sampled Lake Kepwari five times and Stockton three. Preliminary data from Lake Kepwari indicates that the lake is stratified continually by salinity, enhanced by temperature stratification. Conductivity of the bottom waters is highest in March and June, possibly due to saline groundwater inflows. River inflow between August and October appears to slightly dilute the bottom waters (although the exact mechanism is not currently understood). Importantly, bottom pH is >6 during October, but then appears to return to 4.5 by June probably due to incoming acidity from groundwater. The installation of continuous monitoring gear in both lakes should help clarify the processes responsible for these water quality changes. We have used off-the-shelf monitoring gear that provides detailed insight into physical (stratification) and chemical (light, temperature, conductivity and dissolved oxygen) changes in a very economical package that could be used in any pit lake.


We have also value-added to the ACARP project with Edith Cowan University- funded support for an assessment of the impacts of catchment activities (mining, agriculture) on aquatic microbes in the Collie catchment. In November 2014, we hosted colleagues from Montana State University (USA) with whom we are collaborating on the microbial work. The microbial work is likely to prove highly beneficial to the mining industry by providing an economic way of understanding microbially-mediated environmental processes as well as developing microbes as tools for environmental assessment. In April 2015, we visited our colleagues at Montana State University to discuss and test how methodological differences might influence the microbial analysis.

Knowledge transfer

A paper on approaches to pit lake closure, based on ACARP projects C21038 and C23025 was presented at the International Mine Water Association (IMWA) Conference in Xuzhou, China in 2014. A copy of the paper can be obtained for free from Abstracts based on work conducted in C21038 and a poster on our microbial work have been presented at ICARD/IMWA 2015 in Chile. Presentations on previous and current ACARP projects were made to the Hunter Coal Environment Group (NSW) in February 2015.

Figure 1. Section of Melaleuca- dominated river typical of SW Western Australia (Collie River South flowing into Lake Kepwari). Figure 2. Creek flowing into Lake Stockton.