Orange sludge a natural phenomenon

Thursday 27 May, 2021
Orange sludge spotted in creeks in parts of the Goulburn Broken region is a natural phenomenon and not cause for concern.

“We recently received a report of orange sludge in a tributary of the King Parrot Creek near Flowerdale,” Goulburn Broken CMA’s Christine Glassford said. 

“When inspecting the site, I noted the scent of iron which helped verify it was due to natural, iron-oxidizing bacteria and was not a threat to aquatic wildlife, such as native fish.” 

The bacteria grow by feeding on oxidized iron that naturally occurs in the soil. The oxidized iron gives the bacteria a rusty colour and sometimes a metallic odour. It is more likely to occur in slow moving water. 

“The water remains clear as the sludge settles out” Ms Glassford said. 

“As it’s a natural bloom response, there is no need for people to be alarmed – as soon as we get a decent drop of rain it will wash away. 

“We’ll keep an eye on the creek and appreciate the community letting us know about changes in their local waterways.”