Some important information about weirs
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!
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 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.
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.
|Condamine (from first crossing)|
|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|
|Condamine||Toilets||Toilets in Pioneer Park beside bridge||85 km
From Cecil Plains
|Balonne & Culgoa|
|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
|Louth||Tank Water||Feed off the town hall roof; taps beside toilets are non-potable||205 km|
|Wilcannia||Tap||Camping ground taps||271 km
|Menindee||Tap||Tap by the fish cleaning table beside the boat ramp||318 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|