E. coli river water reports

Current and past reports on E. coli bacteria in our water supply.

Natural events – such as droughts, floods and high temperatures – can quickly degrade water quality, including an increase in E. coli bacteria. Increases in E. coli can happen during large flood events due to floodwaters infiltrating septic waste systems located along the river. This results in sewage-related materials entering the Murray River.

The Murray River is the main water source for our customers. Kerang and Murrabit also source water from an irrigation channel operated by Goulburn Valley Water. Kerang also sources water from the Loddon River.

Monitoring E. coli

Monitoring is an important first step in addressing water quality issues.

Although natural events that threaten water quality cannot be controlled, we regularly monitor the E. coli levels in all water sources used for drinking water.

We do this by sampling all water sources and sending these samples to a laboratory to measure the levels of E. coli. The results come back expressed as ‘most probable number per 100ml of water’ or ‘MPN/100ml’. The results for the river and raw water supply are published monthly on this page.

This information is useful for private diverters and our rural water customers. This is because their water supply is either not treated or only partially treated.

During large flood events, the Victorian Environment Protection Agency (EPA) also monitors two sites on the Murray River for E. coli – see Flood-impacted rivers.

E. coli and drinking water

We are dedicated to making sure the water that arrives at your house has no E. coli.

We regularly monitor all drinking water at our water treatment plants. It must have a result of zero E. coli every time. This requirement is in the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2015. The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services oversees our compliance with this legislation.

We use several processes to eliminate E. coli in the drinking water at our 9 water treatment plants. These processes include filtration, addition of chlorine and UV disinfection. This water then travels through a large network of tanks and pipes and doesn’t see the light of day again until it comes out of your tap. This ensures your water doesn’t get contaminated on its journey.

E. coli infection symptoms

Drinking water with E. coli can cause short-term illness, such as:

  • diarrhoea
  • cramps
  • nausea
  • headaches.

If you have symptoms and you suspect you have an E. coli infection from your drinking water, contact NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 or seek medical advice, and contact us on 1800 808 830.

E. coli river water reports

To request earlier E. coli monitoring reports, contact us.