Essential Water Media Statement - Menindee

Essential Water has confirmed the quality of drinking water for customers has not been impacted by the mass fish death event in Menindee in the Far West of NSW.

Essential Water provides a secure water supply to around 10,500 customers in Broken Hill, Menindee, Silverton and Sunset Strip and surrounding rural areas.

As part of its response to the Menindee event, Essential Water has increased the frequency of its water quality monitoring and as a precautionary measure established alternative water sources.

Head of Essential Water Ross Berry said “We want to reassure customers that there has been no impact to the quality of drinking water coming from our Water Treatment Plant. We have increased the frequency of sampling and testing of our drinking water to ensure it continues to meet the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Essential Water will continue to work closely with relevant authorities on maintaining water quality for the residents of Broken Hill and the region."

Essential Water is committed to keeping customers up to date with any new information.


  • While Essential Water’s Broken Hill and Silverton customers are supplied with water from the Murray River, Menindee customers are supplied with water from the Darling River.
  • On 17 March 2023, the Department of Primary Industries and Energy reported mass fish deaths in the reach of the Darling River between Lake Wetherell main weir and Menindee town.
  • The fish death event is due to extremely low dissolved oxygen levels being recorded in Darling River.
  • While the issue could prompt community concern about water quality for Essential Water customers, as of 23 March 2023 there had been no concerns registered by customers.
  • As a precautionary measure, Essential Water has established a backfeed of water from Stephen’s Creek. If needed, the backfeed from Stephen’s Creek can be used as an alternative water supply in the event the water quality sourced from the Darling River deteriorates.
  • It should be noted water sourced by customers directly from the Darling River – bypassing the Water Treatment Plant – should not be considered potable water.