We monitored water quality as part of our Beach Report  and Yarra Watch  programs. The last season ran from 1 December 2019 until 9 March 2020. This is when people use Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River the most for recreation.

Both programs monitor for microbial water quality. read more in Beach Report and Yarra Watch results, 2019-20 (publication 1882)

Microbial sampling results

During the 2019-20 season, our sampling results showed that water quality met standards:

  • 94 per cent of samples taken for Beach Report
  • 84 per cent of samples taken for Yarra Watch.

State Environment Protection Policy (Waters) is the policy that sets the water quality standards for recreational use. We issue swim advisories when weekly sampling results don’t meet these water quality standards. We issued four advisories for Beach Report and one advisory for Yarra Watch in the 2019-2020 season.

Our forecasting

We predict water quality using weather data, mostly rainfall. During the 2019-2020 Beach Report season, our forecasts:

  • predicted Good water quality for 62 per cent forecasts issued
  • were accurate 88 per cent of the time.

The number of Good water quality forecasts we issued was 16 per cent less than the previous year. This was because of an increase in rainfall over the summer period.

During the 2019-2020 Yarra Watch season, our forecasts:

  • predicted Poor water quality for 85 per cent of the forecasts issued
  • were accurate 45 per cent of the time.

We are working to improve our forecasting model to continue to provide appropriate public health information.

Read next

Beach Report

Yarra Watch

Reviewed 27 November 2020