Works to reduce salinity in Murray River

Reducing salt: Goulburn-Murray Water works will provide an upgraded groundwater pumping system that will minimise the volume of saline groundwater entering the Murray River.

Goulburn-Murray Water will begin restoration works to combat the effects of salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin this winter.

The $1.34 million project will take place at the Mildura Merbein Salt Interception Scheme site and is vital for managing and diverting regional saline groundwater before it enters the Murray River.

G-MW general manager for water storage services Martina Cusack said the works included improving current bore pumps and other systems.

“The works will connect the existing piped sub-systems and create a more efficient and operator-friendly system,” she said.

“Not only will the benefits include better system pressure, but modifications will improve pipeline cleaning processes and allow for better chlorination of all production bores.”

Ms Cusack said pumps, valves and existing outfall structures would be inspected and replaced or rationalised where required.

“Access tracks will also be upgraded to improve safety for future maintenance and inspection works” she said.

About 100,000 million tonnes of salt is held in groundwater systems close to the Murray River, a natural part of Murray-Darling Basin landscapes and rivers.

Ms Cusack said irrigators played a key role in minimising the impacts of salinity.

These activities reduce recharge to regional groundwater systems and lessen the volume of salt entering the Murray River.

She said the Mildura Merbein Salt Interception Scheme played a significant role in reducing salinity.

“This particular scheme prevents more than 70 tonnes of salt entering the river per day and comprises a series of groundwater bores connected by a network of pipes that outfall into Lake Ranfurly,” she said.

Works are scheduled to begin at the end of June and are expected to take eight weeks to complete.