Water Quality and Conservation Measures

Published on 17 January 2020

The Murray River near Howlong

Federation Council wishes to advise that the water quality in the Murray River may change over the coming weeks due to bushfire contaminants and run off from forecast rain fall.

Significant rainfall events following bushfires can create extreme water quality issues due to erosion and contaminants coming from ash, fire retardant usage and erosion run-off into the river system.

This may impact the water quality of the Murray River via the Kiewa and Ovens Rivers which could potentially affect the treatment processes that are undertaken at the Howlong, Corowa and Mulwala water treatment plants. Due to bushfire contaminants the water may be difficult to treat which will slow down the processes that the treatment plants follow to ensure the water meets Australian drinking guidelines.

Council is requesting residents to be mindful that supply and water pressure during peak periods (10am – 5pm) may be impacted due to the quality of available source water from the river off takes.

To ensure continued reliability of the water supply, residents located in Corowa, Howlong and Mulwala are asked to review their daily water usage and implement water saving measures.

We request residents to be water wise and avoid watering gardens during the hottest part of the day between 10am – 4pm when evaporation is high. When watering gardens, use a watering can or a trigger nozzle on a hose so that you only water those areas that need it.

Our northern located communities are requested to follow Riverina’s Water request for no garden watering with sprinklers between the hours of 10am - 5pm.

Federation Council Water Treatment plants in Corowa, Howlong and Mulwala are treating drinking water to remove taste and odour caused by an increase in algae in our water supply.

The water is being treated in accordance with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and remains safe for drinking, cooking and bathing. The taste and odour should dissipate within a few days and Council thanks you for your patience. 

Due to the current drought, Council is also considering the introduction of water restrictions, however, will monitor the situation and provide updated information to the community over the coming weeks.

Further information about being water wise is available from the WaterNSW website.

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