Between 1 December 2019 and 9 March 2020, Yarra Watch forecasts for four sites along the Yarra River twice a day. Good predicts that recreational water quality is suitable for swimming, Fair means recreational water quality is good but could be affected by rainfall, particularly if the site is close to a stormwater outlet, and Poor is a warning that means you should avoid contact with the water. Forecasts are also available on Twitter.
An alert will be issued via this website and Twitter when water quality is Unacceptable for swimming.
Forecasts are based on observed and predicted rainfall, recreational water quality history, weekly sampling and pollution reports.
Changes to forecasts due to new water-based recreation standards
EPA will be using stricter water quality standards for issuing swim advisories in the 2019–20 summer.
What are the new standards?
The new standards reflect the State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP) Waters 2018. They align with the latest recommendations from the National Health & Medical Research Council.
Why do we have new standards?
The new standards take a more precautionary approach to protecting public health.
They are based on scientific studies linking microbial levels in water with the risk of illness.
What does this mean to me?
The stricter standards may result in EPA issuing a greater number of swim advisories during the summer.
Launching Place, Healesville and Kew will have Poor forecasts for the whole summer. The best forecast Warrandyte will receive over summer is Fair. This does not necessarily mean that water quality is worse than in previous years, but that forecasts are more precautionary to protect health.