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Monitoring Programs

Port Phillip Bay

EPA currently samples five sites monthly within the Bay. All of these sites have been sampled since 1990 (some as far back as 1976). These five sites provide a balance between areas that are close to anthropogenic inputs and major bay inflows (Hobsons Bay, Patterson River, Long Reef and Corio Bay) and remote from them (Central Bay).

The range of indicators sampled include:

  • nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and silicate)
  • water clarity (total suspended solids and turbidity)
  • dissolved oxygen
  • salinity
  • algae (chlorophyll-a)
  • water temperature

The History of the Port Phillip Bay Monitoring Program

Due to difficulties associated with sampling the waters of Port Phillip Bay a reduced number of sampling events and/or number of sites monitored occurred. For the calculation of the WQI score at these times data was extrapolated when deemed appropriate.

  • 1990 Commenced Monitoring Program (six sites, monthly sampling)
  • 2000 Start of assessment period used in the Yarra and Bay Report Cards
  • 2000-2005 Six sites monitored (four sites contributed to WQI score)
  • 2003-2004 Six sites monitored (four sites contributed to WQI score, score extrapolated due to low number of sampling events)
  • 2005-2006 Six sites monitored (five sites contributed to WQI score)
  • 2006-2007 Six sites monitored (no sites contributed to WQI score due to low number of sampling events)
  • 2007-2015 Additional two sites added to monitoring program (eight sites contributed to WQI score)
  • 2015-2016 Eight sites monitored (eight sites contributed to WQI score, two sites extrapolated due to low number of sampling events)

Catchments

Melbourne Water samples more than 100 sites regularly in the Werribee, Maribyrnong, Yarra, Dandenong and Mornington catchments as part of their waterways water quality monitoring program.

A significant number of the sites are located waterways that flow through urban areas, including the lower Yarra River and lower Maribyrnong River, where water quality is typically impacted by urban land use. Waterways in forested areas are often in near natural condition however there are relatively few monitoring sites in these areas.

The range of indicators sampled include:

  • nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus)
  • water clarity (turbidity)
  • dissolved oxygen
  • salinity (conductivity)
  • pH (acidity or alkalinity)
  • metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel and zinc)
  • water temperature (not included in this water quality index)
  • faecal contamination (E. coli - also not included in this water quality index)

For further information on the monitoring programs in the Bellarine Catchment see Water Watch

Further Information

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