Western Murray Irrigation manages water quality mainly through scouring

Non-Potable Water

Western Murray Irrigation pumps water directly from the Murray River.

The water is not treated and is not fit for human consumption (non-potable).

Generally it can be used for stock and garden use, however, when toxic blue-green algae are present, this water may not be suitable for human use or stock.

The water quality of the Murray River can vary by month and year and is affected by factors including:

  • Temperature
  • Turbidity
  • Nutrients
  • Algae
  • Salinity
  • Flood/Drought
Blue Green Algae

Blue-green algae are the only group of algae known to be toxic in freshwaters. WaterNSW maintains algal alerts here https://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae#stay


Blackwater is a naturally occurring process caused by nutrient rich organic material such as leaves and bark washing into rivers during a flood. As this organic matter decays tannins are released giving the water a blackish appearance and at times an unpleasant odour.
Reduced dissolved oxygen levels can also kill fish and other river creatures. This is known as hypoxic (low oxygen) blackwater.

Blackwater may render raw water problematic for use for a considerable period of time and may cause filtration problems for irrigators.

As the weather warms and irrigation season ramps up customers may experience poor quality water. Scouring by WMI may be able to assist.

General water quality threats and alerts can be found on the MDBA website:

http://Water quality | Murray-Darling Basin Authority (mdba.gov.au)

Water Maintenance

Western Murray Irrigation manages water quality generally through scouring, but occasionally problems persist with the natural build up of water animals and plants.

There are a number of actions customers can take including a regularly maintained on-farm irrigation system and regular cleaning of the outlet filter. However, if problems persist contact Western Murray Irrigation for assistance.

Assistance/Emergencies: call 0428 596 428 anytime.

Managing blocked filters from Bryozoans

Western Murray Irrigation is undertaking a water quality treatment program to manage bryozoans which can cause blocked pipes and filters. The program will involve the addition of a low dose hydrogen peroxide at the pump stations in all three irrigation areas commencing in 2019. This follows research and consultation including feedback from customers regarding blocked filters.

Hydrogen peroxide used in this way is safe and effective in the management of bryozoans and will not impact irrigation or stock & garden customers during application.

The treatment will NOT make the water potable and customers should continue to use water for irrigation and stock & garden only.

Further information can be found on the customer information sheet or contact the WMI Operations team on 03 5027 4256 during business hours.