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EPA monitors marine and freshwater quality at locations across Victoria. 

The marine monitoring program aims to: 

  • assess water quality  
  • identify and investigate risks, like pollution 
  • protect and improve water quality.

We currently monitor marine water quality at fixed sites located at: 

  • Port Phillip Bay 
  • Western Port 
  • Gippsland Lakes.

Marine water monitoring and Beach Report

We monitor marine water quality through:

  • fixed sites
  • Beach Report, which checks water quality at our beaches 
  • daily water monitoring on board the Spirit of Tasmania 
  • responding to pollution reports
  • marine research.

New water quality standards for Beach Report

EPA’s forecasts for 36 Bay beaches are published on the Yarra & Bay website.

This summer, we will use new stricter water quality standards for the first time.

The new standards may result in EPA issuing more swim advisories during the summer.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that water quality is worse than previous years.

It means the new standards are working with a more precautionary approach to protect public health.

The new standards are based on scientific studies. The studies link levels of microbes in water with the actual risk of illness.

We urge you to check the Beach Report on the Yarra & Bay website before swimming.

You can also sign up for a free SMS service on the website. You’ll get a text when the water at is forecast to have poor quality.

Water quality forecasts are also on our Twitter feed. Follow @EPA_Victoria.

See a doctor if you suspect illness after swimming.

Freshwater monitoring and Yarra Watch

The freshwater monitoring program aims to:

  • identify and characterise risks from emerging contaminants
  • protect and improve water quality.

We monitor freshwater quality through:

  • our emerging contaminants program
  • Yarra Watch, which checks water quality at four swimming sites
  • responding to pollution events
  • freshwater research.

EPA will partner with Melbourne Water to forecast water quality at four spots along the Yarra River. These are:

  • Healesville
  • Kew 
  • Launching Place
  • Warrandyte. 

These forecasts are available on the Yarra & Bay website.

Read next 

Beach Report on the Yarra and Bay website

Monitoring Port Phillip Bay

What marine monitoring we do

EPA’s floating laboratory

Emerging contaminants

Report Card 2018–19

Reviewed 15 May 2020