Watch for water quality changes following floods

With flood water comes the smell of black water as perished animals. Here in Kerang, the Loddon River smells of dead fish, and the Pyramid Creek smells like a sewage pond. With this water converging around the Kerang weir, the water is black. Black water may be good for photos for reflection, and that may be the only positive thing about black water.

“Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is advising residents in flood-affected areas to check for water quality issues when drawing water from rivers, creeks or the irrigation system.

Recent rainfall and flooding events have seen a number of water quality issues reported across the region.

GMW Emergency Controller Peter Clydesdale said flood waters can carry silt and organic material from inundated areas, including dead animals, wastewater (human and animal), crops and vegetation debris.

“Flood waters can have a detrimental effect on water quality in a number of ways,” Mr Clydesdale said.

“Discolouration of the water can occur, with a dark appearance and a pungent earthy odour.

“If you’re using water supplied by GMW, monitor the supply source and make alternative arrangements if water quality deteriorates.”

Water supplied by GMW is untreated and is not suitable for drinking or food preparation. Untreated water should also not be used for purposes where skin contact occurs, such as showering.”

Image of dead fish at the Benjeroop Forest Sunday, October 20, 2022
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