Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville today announced that Victoria’s annual Beach Report program has been brought forward by one month in response to the early onset of summer conditions.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) forecasts and monitors bacterial water quality at 36 beaches in Port Phillip Bay under the program. The service gives up-to-date information on water quality during peak beach use on the website and EPA twitter.
This is the first time the program has been brought forward in response to changed weather conditions in its 24-year history. It will also be extended by one month to April, 2016.
This program will allow people to plan ahead when going to the beach and give them peace of mind that the water quality is safe to swim in.
The seasonal outlook for November is predicted to be hotter than average. Hotter temperatures and more storms are expected to result in higher risk conditions for the water quality of Victoria’s beaches and beach-goers.
Heavy rain or storms can result in large amounts of stormwater runoff into the bay, potentially impacting water quality for 24-48hrs.
The stormwater system is not connected to the sewer system and anything that is discharged to stormwater drains ultimately impacts our aquatic environment in the creeks, rivers and ultimately the ocean.
Heavy rain and storms are highest risk to the public when they follow extended periods of dry weather as the ‘first flush’ of the stormwater system carries most of the pollution that has built up in the drains. During this period, there may be a higher risk of illness to swimmers from increased bacterial levels in the water.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville
“We are working to better protect the health and wellbeing of Victorians this summer by bringing forward the 2015-2016 Beach Report program by one month.”
“EPA uses its scientific expertise to forecast and monitor bacterial water quality at 36 beaches in Port Phillip Bay under its program. Forecasts are also available via the website and Twitter, and in December by forecast signs at most life saving clubs around the bay.”
“With the early onset of summer conditions, this service will assist beach goers to enjoy the beaches and make informed decisions to keep happy and healthy during the summer season.”
“EPA’s Beach Report program is a valuable tool in helping you and your family keep healthy and safe at Victorian beaches this summer.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020