Beach report kicks off with SMS alerts

EPA officer collecting water samples

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will be out in Port Phillip Bay again this summer monitoring water quality at 36 beaches and at four popular recreational locations in the Yarra River at Kew, Warrandyte, Healesville and Launching Place.

Beachgoers are invited to participate in an extended trial to receive an SMS alert when water quality at their local beach is rated poor.

Sign up to receive the alerts through the Yarra & Bay website.

How are the ratings determined?

Now in its 25th year, Beach Report and Yarra Watch help the community make informed choices about swimming and other water activities during the warmer months.

Water quality forecasts predict water quality based on the latest weather conditions, water quality history, recent bacterial sampling results and pollution reports.

Forecast ratings of good, fair and poor are provided for each location on the Yarra & Bay website and via Twitter. Water quality information will also be displayed on signs at 28 Life Saving Victoria clubs around the bay.

EPA advises against swimming for up to 48 hours after heavy rain because during this period there may be a higher risk of illness to swimmers from increased bacterial levels in the water.

Heavy rain that follows an extended period of dry weather creates the highest risk of water pollution as the ‘first flush’ of the stormwater system carries built up pollution from the drains into the bay.