With good weather set to return at the end of the week, Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s (EPA) has released data showing the beaches that recorded the best water quality during the first month of summer.

During December 2020, Eastern Beach, St Leonards and Santa Casa on the Bellarine Peninsula shared equal top spot while Portsea, Sorrento and Rosebud were next, according to EPA’s popular Beach Report service. The report gives daily advice to swimmers about the quality of Port Philip Bay water.

"Rains like we’ve been getting these last few days, are probably at the lighter end for what can happen during a La Nina period but the conditions have still challenged bay water quality at many of the 36 beaches we report on daily,” said EPA water scientist Leon Metzeling. 

“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 also advises people to prevent their pets from contacting water as well, “said Leon.

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 epa.vic.gov.au/BeachReport 

Good forecasts equate to suitable swimming conditions, fair means beaches may not be suitable for swimming and beach users should check for signs of pollution (drains flowing, discoloured water, odour), while poor forecasts advise that beaches are not suitable for swimming.

Beachgoers should continue to check the EPA website for latest water quality forecasts as the weather improves in to summer. 

Water quality information is also displayed on signs at Life Saving Victoria clubs or where there are lifeguard patrols around the bay.

EPA also issues forecasts for popular Yarra River locations in Kew, Warrandyte, Healesville and Launching Place. All are rated poor today.

EPA’s Beach Report forecasts run until March 2021. The December rankings, based on forecast conditions, are below:

Beach Ranking for Dec 2020 by number of good forecasts

Beach Rank December Good Forecasts
Eastern 1 28
St Leonards 1 28
Santa Casa 1 28
Portsea 4 25
Sorrento 4 25
Rosebud LSC 4 25
Black Rock LSC 7 24
Sandringham 7 24
Hampton 7 24
Mt Martha LSC 10 24
Safety Beach 11 23
Half Moon Bay 11 23
Williamstown 11 23
The Dell 11 23
Blairgowrie 15 22
Carrum Surf LSC 16 20
Brighton LSC 16 21
Dromana 18 21
Canadian Bay 18 21
Seaford 18 20
Aspendale LSC 18 20
Beaumaris 18 20
Rye 18 20
Mentone 24 20
Mornington LSC  25 18
Frankston Coast Guard 26 17
South Melbourne LSC  26 16
Sandridge 26 16
Frankston Surf LSC 29 16
Elwood 29 15
Mordialloc 31 15
St Kilda 31 15
Port Melbourne 31 15
Altona 34 13
Portarlington 35 4
Werribee Sth 36 2

Rankings are based on the number of ‘Goods’, ‘Fairs’ and ‘Poor’ forecasts issued for a beach. Ranked beaches may have the same or different number of ‘Good’ forecasts in December, but have a different rank due to the number of ‘Fair’ and ‘Poor’ forecasts.


Reviewed 6 January 2021