04 Apr 2011
If you have a favourite mooring spot on the River Murray between Mannum and Wellington, please take careful note of this advice from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Recent testing by the EPA has revealed water quality issues in the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area (LMRIA) swamps running adjacent to the river from Mannum down to Wellington. The channels, dug through the paddocks to drain saline groundwater and prevent salination of pasture, run into an adjacent pumping channel which is framed by willows on the riverbank.
As the channels are cut into the willows, they make a natural cove and have become a favourite mooring spot for vessels, out of the flow and traffic of the river.
The EPA warns that the water pumped from these drainage channels is not of the highest quality as a legacy of the drought and may pose a danger to vessels using the areas for mooring. However, advice from the Department of Health indicates that given current and projected flows and associated mixing and dilution, there will not be a water quality issue in the river channel itself.
Signage and buoys have been now been erected around affected channels, as can be seen in the accompanying photographs. Vessels using these affected areas are advised to seek alternative mooring locations until further notice.