Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is urging beachgoers to check water quality forecasts, or sign up for SMS alerts, before hitting Port Phillip Bay’s beaches in the coming days.
Rainfall, such as that across the Greater Melbourne area on Sunday/Monday, is often associated with poor water quality at beaches across Port Phillip Bay.
EPA issues twice-daily water quality forecasts of good, fair and poor for Port Phillip Bay’s 36 beaches online and via twitter @EPA_Victoria. People can also sign up for SMS alerts at yarraandbay.vic.gov.au
Water quality information is also displayed on signs at 28 Life Saving Victoria clubs around the bay every weekend over summer.
Good forecasts equate to suitable swimming conditions, fair means beaches may not be suitable while poor forecasts advise that beaches are not suitable for swimming.
EPA also issues forecasts for popular Yarra River locations in Kew, Warrandyte, Healesville and Launching Place. Warrandyte is forecast to have fair conditions, and the remainder poor.
EPA advises against swimming at all waterways and beaches for up to 48 hours after heavy rain as there could be a higher risk of illness to swimmers from increased bacterial levels.
EPA forecasts predict water quality based on the latest weather conditions, 25 years of water quality history, recent bacterial sampling results and pollution reports.
EPA’s 2017 Beach Report forecasts run until Labour Day weekend in March.