Blue Green algae in Pian Creek/Walgett water supply

Brian Parsons - Department of Water Resources NSW , 04 October, 1990

This paper attempts to deal with one of the problems associated with Blue Green Algae in the Walgett Water Supply.

In January, 1989 the N.S.W. Department of Water Resources received a complaint from Walgett Shire Council, relating to the quality of water in the Namoi River at Walgett, from whence the water supply for the township of Walgett is pumped. However complaints about poor water quality were received prior to 1986.

It appears that the water treatment system at Walgett would not remove a taste and odour problem. Skin rashes (dermatitis) and asthma attacks were reported.

Walgett Shire Council suggested that Pian Creek was where the problem initiated from. Pian Creek is an effluent stream. It is diverted from the Namoi River near Wee Waa at Gunidgera Weir, though Gunidgera Regulator, travels in a westerly direction and merges with the Namoi River again, some 10 km upstream of Walgett. Walgett domestic water is pumped downstream of this confluence.