Beach Report Kicks Off With SMS Alerts

Victoria’s annual beach reporting season started today, including a new SMS alert trial for beach forecasts.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will be out in Port Phillip Bay again this summer monitoring water quality at 36 beaches and four popular Yarra River locations in Kew, Warrandyte, Healesville and Launching Place.
Following a successful pilot of SMS technology last year, beachgoers are invited to participate in an expanded trial to receive an SMS alert for when water quality at their local beach is rated poor.
EPA’s forecasts predict water quality based on the latest weather conditions, water quality history, recent bacterial sampling results and pollution reports.
Ratings of good, fair and poor are provided for each location online 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.
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 into the bay.
Last summer’s beach rankings show that Hampton, Seaford, Portsea, Canadian Bay, Sandringham, Elwood, Rosebud, Santa Casa and Black Rock beaches offered the best recreational water quality in Port Phillip Bay.
Further information about water quality or to sign up to text alerts visit: www.yarraandbay.vic.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We’re putting people first by providing accurate, scientifically-informed information about Victoria’s waterways and catchments.”
“I encourage beachgoers to sign up for SMS alerts as part of this trial so they know which spots are safe for swimming over summer.”
“EPA’s forecasts will enable people to make informed choices and help reduce their risk of illness, such as gastroenteritis, which is associated with high bacteria levels.”

Published on December 1, 2016