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04 January 2021

Warm weather in the Murray River catchment area is contributing to poor raw water quality in the Coliban Water Murray Supply System.

The Murray Supply System supplies water to the townships of Echuca, Leitchville, Gunbower and Cohuna.

Senior Water Quality and Regulatory Advisor David Sheehan said there are no health risks associated with the drinking water being supplied to these towns.  

“It is safe for all drinking, bathing and food preparation purposes, and the water being supplied continues to comply with all health-based guideline values in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

“The reduced quality of the raw water is a result of high concentrations of naturally occurring taste and odour compounds being present in the raw water supply. Blue Green Algae blooms can cause these compounds to be more present.

“Treatment measures are in place at the relevant water treatment plants to minimise the impact to the drinking water supply for these towns.  However, customers may be experiencing a change to their drinking water; with the water having an earthy taste and smell as a result.

“Further works are being investigated at all four locations to ensure water treatment processes are optimised to minimise any taste and odour impact to our customers.  However, until raw water quality improves, we are unable to completely remove the taste and odour compounds,” Mr Sheehan said. 

“We are aware that this has been an inconvenience for our customers and we are working hard with water quality specialists and operational teams to do what we can to improve these supplies,” Mr Sheehan said.

The corporation said the region’s changing climate conditions is resulting in higher concentrations of algae, which extends the periods of blooms in local water bodies.

“We are noticing an increase in the intensity and duration of Blue Green Algae (BGA) blooms across many of our water sources with a changing climate, particularly in the River Murray and associated channels, where there have been significant blooms over the last few years.

“Managing the increased risk of BGA blooms is part of our climate adaptation considerations in our Strategy 2030 strategic plan,” Mr Sheehan said. 

For further information, please call our Customer Support Team on 1300 363 200 or visit

Last updated on 04 Jan 2021
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