Lakes Bungana, Brearley and Brickworks

The Bungana, Brearley and Brickworks Lakes are found on the Maylands peninsula, in close proximity to the Swan River and approximately 5 km east of the Perth CBD. The three man-made lakes are nestled amongst residential properties and public open spaces beside the Maylands Golf Course.


The lakes are old clay pits, previously used by the nearby Maylands Brickworks. Maylands Brickworks operated from 1927 to 1984, and is now a registered heritage site. Following the 1986 Meckering earthquake, some of the old brickworks structures were demolished and rubble was placed in these claypits. After the Brickworks closed, the lakes were modified as part of the Peninsula Estate residential development in the late 1990s.

Issues with the lakes

As the lakes were once clay pits, they have environmental issues including:

  • Poor water quality
  • Algal blooms
  • Low oxygen levels.
  • A lack of native flora and fauna.
Brickworks Lake Brickworks Lake

What is being done to fix them?

In 2015, the City conducted a year long water quality study of the three lakes. An environmental consultant was hired to review the data and the findings were published in the Lake Bungana, Lake Brearley & Brickworks Lake, Maylands Environmental Report. Some of the suggested short and long term options were:

  • Revegetation
  • Physical removal of algae and waste
  • Reduction of phosphorus levels (Phoslock application)
  • Dredging
  • Extension of the lakes.

Phoslock application

In February 2018, the City applied phoslock to the three lakes.

Phoslock was applied again to the three lakes at the end of January 2020.

Phoslock helps to minimise the re-release of phosphorous from the sediment back into the water.

Phoslock is applied to the lakes by boat and from the edge of the lake with a hose. The clay is white and this will give the water a milky colour for approximately two weeks as the clay settles to the bottom of the lakes. 

Nutrient and Hydraulic Model

Over a 14-month period (concluding June 2020), the lake has been intensively monitored to understand what changes have occurred and their long-term impact.

This approach would develop a detailed nutrient and hydraulic balance with the added benefit of data to evidence the effectiveness of dredging.

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