BEACHGOERS and swimmers are still being urged to check water quality updates before going for a dip off bayside beaches this summer amid risks of illness from bacteria and faecal matter swept into Port Phillip Bay during stormy weather.
Water quality is being monitored daily by the Environment Protection Authority until March.
Earlier this month EPA applied sciences group manager Dr Anthony Boxshall said there is a higher risk of illnesses such as gastro to swimmers from higher bacterial levels after flash flooding.
“Heavy rain and storms can create a risk to the public as they can flood stormwater systems that then carry pollution that has built up in drains into waterways,” Dr Boxshall said in a statement.
“In certain conditions, they can be home to bacteria from faecal pollution that poses health risks to swimmers.”
The EPA issues twice-daily water quality updates of good, fair and poor for Port Phillip’s 36 beaches. It is not advisable to swim at all waterways and beaches for up to 48 hours after heavy rain since there may be a higher risk of gastro and other illnesses.
Water quality information is also displayed on signs at Life Saving Victoria clubs around the bay.
The water quality forecasts can be seen online at epa.vic.gov.au and via twitter @EPA_Victoria or by calling 1300 372 842.
Text message alerts can be signed up for at yarraandbay.vic.gov.au online.