Ferns beside a still pool

Drinking Water

Even though you are surrounded by a billion litres of water, getting drinking water is not always as straightforward as one would expect. There are two main options, to use the river or town supplies. The former may not be safe in the hotter summer months due to blue-green algae outbreaks. If these get too bad, it may not even be safe to continue paddling on the river!

River Water

Koala drinking water on a log that has fallen into the river

In high flows it is highly recommended to clarify and treat the water before you drink it. This will remove some toxins, extend the life of your water filter and make the water taste a lot better!

Refer to the Safety page for some of the issues related to drinking untreated water.

Refer to the Water Treatment page for various options on how you can clarify and treat water.

Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria)

Algae making the surface of still water green

Blue-green algae is common in most freshwater systems, but some species are known to produce toxins that make the water unsafe to drink and even unsafe to touch in bad blooms. All of the major Australian rivers will have a risk and the Darling River is no exception. Blooms may not be reported from remote sections of the river.

The national algal information line 1800 999 457 for known outbreaks by Water Quality Australia. The MDBA publishes monthly updates of key rivers and WaterNSW has a real-time alert map. Other states seem to delegate reporting to their local councils or provide alerts or signage when needed.

In the event of an algae bloom, switch to town supply! There are no simple ways to remove Cyanobacteria toxins and each species has specific treatment requirements.

Town Supplies

Let us know if any of the listed town water sources are incorrect or if you have found additional sources.

When letting us know about new sources, let us know if it is a tap, drinking fountain, etc, and simple instructions to find it along with the approximate coordinates.

You can use Google Maps or similar tools to help get the coordinates. A demo using Google Maps for how I got the Renmark drinking fountain coordinates.

Here is a list of various public water points that are known on the river. This does not include camping grounds, private homes, businesses or shops that will be able to provide additional water points.

Town(s) Water Source Distance
Killarney Unknown 21 km
Warwick Toilets Toilets in Rotary Park beside bridge, likely others in Queens Park 70 km
Cecil Plains Toilets Toilets at Apex Park beside the bridge or the Caravan Park in town 222 km
Dalby Unknown 61 km
Chinchilla Unknown 143 km
Condamine Toilets Toilets in Pioneer Park beside bridge 85 km
From Cecil Plains
289 km
Surat Toilets 211 km
St George Drinking Fountain Just beside the toilets downstream of the boat ramp 179 km
Weilmoringle Unknown, I got some off one of the locals 345 km
Bourke Drinking Fountain Just beside the toilets. Low pressure tap takes a while to fill any container 247 km
From St George
592 km

From Brewarrina
205 km
Louth Tank Water Feed off the town hall roof; taps beside toilets are non-potable 205 km
Tilpa Unknown 168 km
Wilcannia Tap Camping ground taps 271 km
From Louth
439 km
Menindee Tap Tap by the fish cleaning table beside the boat ramp 318 km
Pooncarie Toilets 295 km
Wentworth Drinking Fountain Beside toilets, Junction Park. Water was turned off at 6pm when I paddled past. 238 km
Walgett Toilets Beside toilets in park beside the Namoi River, Walgett. 5 km paddle from the Barwon River.
Brewarrina Tap Picnic table beside toilets near the visitor centre. 200 m from the boat ramp. 283 km