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.

Today’s forecast is poor water quality for all 36 Port Philip Bay beaches that EPA monitors across Greater Melbourne, Bellarine Peninsula and Mornington Peninsula.

Heavy rain, such as that experienced overnight and into this morning, is often associated with poor water quality at beaches across Port Phillip Bay as it can flood stormwater systems that then carry pollution that has built up in the drains into waterways.

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.

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 over the coming days. 

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 four of these sites have poor water quality forecasts today too.

EPA’s Beach Report forecasts run until March 2021.

Reviewed 22 December 2020