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Lake Kepwari facts for kids

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Lake Kepwari
Location South West, Western Australia
Coordinates 33°27.650′S 116°13.742′E / 33.460833°S 116.229033°E / -33.460833; 116.229033Coordinates: 33°27.650′S 116°13.742′E / 33.460833°S 116.229033°E / -33.460833; 116.229033
Lake type Reservoir
Basin countries Australia
Max. length 2 km (1.2 mi)
Max. width 1 km (0.62 mi)
Surface area 1.03 km2 (0.40 sq mi)
Max. depth 70 m (230 ft)
Water volume 30×10^6 m3 (24,000 acre⋅ft)

Lake Kepwari is a man-made reservoir located in the south-west region of Western Australia, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south-east of Collie. "Kepwari" is a Noongar word meaning "playing in water".

Description

The lake is a former open-cut coal mine formerly known as Western Five, part of a mining lease operated by Wesfarmers Premier Coal from 1970 until 1996. It is 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) long, 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) wide and up to 70 metres (230 ft) deep. It covers 103 hectares (250 acres) and holds about 30 gigalitres (1.1×109 cu ft) of water.

Since 2003, rehabilitation work on the site has been undertaken to develop it as a community aquatic recreation facility. It has taken about five years to fill with water from Collie River South. In 2008, the state government allocated $3.29 million for the recreational development of the site.

Its opening has been delayed, however, due to public safety concerns about the low pH levels (pH 4.5) in the water. The acidity is believed to be due to ground water leakage at its deeper points. The ground water contains high levels of iron which oxidises and causes acidity levels to rise.

In 2009, the government called for submissions for an Environmental Impact Assessment relating to the effects of reconnecting Collie River South to the lake, which is intended to create a flushing effect. The river is upstream from Wellington Dam and was diverted around the southern edge of the site throughout the mining operations.

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