Murray River Water Treatment Specialists

Do you rely on the Murray River for essential water supply?

Waterform Technologies provide specialised Murray River Water Treatment services, having developed one the highest performing and robust solutions known for treating river water, soundly based on long term water quality matrix testing and the optimisation of an operating plant. Scroll down to download Murray Bridge case study!

So much so we have released a modular plant named the ‘BarrierUF-Murray’™ Spec, based around the renowned BarrierUF model. This WTP solution provides the following key benefits:

  • Guaranteed NTU of 0.15 or less
  • Uninterrupted performance even during ‘blackwater’ events (extremely bad water quality)
  • Certified bacteria, protozoa and virus rejection (99.9999% for MS2 Phage Virus)
  • Full compliance to AQIS, SA DoH, VIC DoH, EPA, A.D.W.G standards for potable water
  • Small foot print and controlled chemical usage, no system air scour required
  • Turnkey solution

Murray River, South Australia


What makes Murray River Water Treatment so challenging?

The Murray River is relied on by thousands of businesses, by townships and their residents and provides a source for power and transport of goods. Water quality monitoring is conducted right along its length, as the following graphic shows:



The treatment challenge lies in not only the historically high levels of organics and colloidal clays, but also the variability of the water.

This variability is influenced by rainfall in the catchment, by drought, by farming activities and by weather. A blackwater (or black tide) event occurs when returning floodwater contains elevated levels of dissolved organic carbon. Normally the export of carbon from floodplains to a river channel is a beneficial process, providing sustenance to lowland river ecosystems. However if the rate of oxygen consumption during decomposition of the organic carbon is faster than it can be replenished from the atmosphere, this can cause oxygen depletion in the water column, with catastrophic short-term consequences for fish and crustaceans.

The black appearance of the water is due to the release of carbon compounds (including tannins) as the organic matter decays – similar to the process of adding water to tea leaves.

Blackwater with low level of dissolved oxygen may cause stress to fish, crayfish and other aquatic animals. When the dissolved oxygen reaches a very low level it can result in fish deaths. For example, Large bodied native fish (e.g. Murray Cod) require at least 2 milligrams dissolved oxygen (DO) per litre in the water to survive, but may begin to suffer at levels below 4-5 mg DO per litre.

Blackwater can occur as a result of floods and is a natural phenomenon due to the convergence of a number of conditions. The amount of organic matter will depend on factors such as the type, quantity and age of the leaf litter and whether the litter has previously been flooded.

Increasing air and water temperatures also have the potential to lower dissolved oxygen levels in affected rivers. The decade long drought preceding the 2010-11 floods in the southern Murray–Darling Basin allowed the accumulation of large amounts of organic material on the floodplains.

This all contributes to a challenging environment for a water treatment plant, and Waterform Technologies have been able to engineer the BarrierUF-Murray WTP to delivery reliable and durable performance no matter what the feed water quality is.

Murray River Water Treatment – Technology


In designing the BarrierUF-Murray WTP, Waterform have used some of the most robust technology available:

  • A Ultrafiltration membrane that is supplied with a certified no-fibre breakage warranty, and a life expectant of 10+ years (this is more than twice as good as most other UF technologies on the market)
  • Sophisticated PLC control programming that monitors feed conditions 
  • German made sensor technology to ensure reliable monitoring and operation is maintained
  • Highest virus rejection possible, including algae removal

Get in touch with us now and talk to an expert!


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