Targeting Plumatella

Following feedback from irrigation customers regarding blocked filters, Lower Murray Water (LMW) undertook a water quality treatment program in the Merbein, Red Cliffs C Sub and Mildura Benetook irrigation systems in 2019, targeting Plumatella. The program commenced in September and continued for approximately 10 weeks.

Plumatella, a type of bryozoan, is an organism found in oceans, lakes and streams. While important in natural freshwater environments such as the Murray River, it can become a nuisance in irrigation systems by blocking pipes and filters.

The water quality treatment program will be undertaken again this season in the Merbein, Red Cliffs and Mildura Benetook irrigation systems, where there are frequent occurrences of Plumatella. The program will continue for approximately 2-3 months and applies to irrigation and domestic & stock customers.

Low levels of hydrogen peroxide are dosed to target the colonisation of Plumatella early in the irrigation season. Hydrogen peroxide has proven effective in the management of Plumatella and does not impact customers during application. It is used in farming practices to maintain irrigation systems, while providing oxygen to soil and plants.

There will be no disruption to water supply during this time. This treatment will NOT make the water potable and customers should continue to use rural water supplies for irrigation, domestic & stock use only.

For further information regarding Plumatella, please refer to the fact sheet.

For information on the water quality treatment program, contact the LMW Operations Team on 03 5051 0795 between 8am and 5pm.