Peter Hardwick of Nimbin has been regenerating dams in the Nimbin area with a great deal of success.
Peter Hardwick of Nimbin has been regenerating dams in the Nimbin area with a great deal of success. Cathy Adams

Water quality is dam good

WHEN Peter Hardwick got down, dirty and busy helping out a friend regenerate their dam, he didn't realise he'd be in such demand.

Two years ago, after seeing a friend's dam close to sterile, he used the environmental and scientific knowledge he had to improve the ecological balance and restore the aquatic biodiversity.

He reintroduced native fish and plants to the dam and returned months later to find that his actions had reignited the natural cycle, and the dam was flourishing.

When word spread, he found himself doing the same for other dams around the Nimbin area, restoring the aquatic life and oxygenating the water.

"There seems to be a demand for it," Mr Hardwick said.

"Many dams have just been dug and left, and they're not healthy any more."

By rebalancing the dams and restoring the natural cycle, Mr Hardwick said, they're actually backing up the future of aquatic life by ensuring there exists a good genetic stock of native fish and plants in the area, in the event of an aquatic disaster.

"It's a biodiversity back-up to our waterways," Mr Hardwick said.

It's also a fantastic feeling to see a dam healthy and thriving, he said.

"When you come back and see all the aquatic life swimming around, it's great."

While he said that he enjoys the dam work as a personal interest and a helping hand, Mr Hardwick's currently not considering making a business out of it.

However he does have some tips for those needing to re-establish the life and ecological strength of their dams; the first being to "Use local fish from your nearest creek as a principle, with a permit!"

Mr Hardwick warns that there are many rules to follow when taking on a dam project, and suggests talking to the Department of Fishing and Aquaculture before making any moves.