Water quality improving after floods

January 26, 2023 BY

The EPA believes water quality will continue to improve after months of flooding in 2022. Photo: FACEBOOK

MONTHS of poor water quality in the region’s rivers and oceans is showing signs of easing according to the state’s environment watchdog.

Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria chief environmental scientist Professor Mark Taylor said testing of waters around the bay during December 2022 only met environmental health standards 77 per cent of the time, as compared with 91 per cent the year before.

“On average, from 2018 to 2021, December bay water quality did not meet standards on only 9 per cent of occasions. This summer, the December fail rate is 23 per cent.

“We have flood waters and some very heavy rainfall in from October to December 2022 to blame for that, October and November 2022 rainfalls were very much above average.

“But the good news is that we’re expecting an improvement in the weather and with it a return to our usual high levels of water quality performance in the bay.”

The EPA is reporting similar improvements in the region’s other beaches and inland waterways, corresponding with the warmer weather and minimal rain, with the caveat that larger weather events are likely to stir up sediment.

“Better weather will help the improving trend but we still advise people to self-assess; if the water looks discoloured, or is foaming heavily, or there is odour; if you’re near a drain, river or creek outlet and there’s been rain in the last 48 hours, pick another day to go for a swim,” Professor Taylor said.

The EPA provides twice-daily updates during summer on when and where to swim in Port Phillip Bay via its beach report at epa.vic.gov.au/for-community/summer-water-quality/beach-report