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Water warning: High risk of illness if you or your pets swim in the bay

3AW Mornings

Some of the Port Phillip’s most popular beaches are unsuitable for swimming for at least the next 48 hours.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria has rated the water quality for 25 beaches across the bay as poor, meaning they are unsuitable for swimming.

Leon Metzeling from the EPA told 3AW’s Heidi Murphy even pets should not come into contact with the water.

“Dogs are hardier than us but it’s probably still a good idea to keep them out for a day or two,” he warned.

Mr Metzeling says storm water can contain particularly high levels of bacteria, oils and petrol from the roads after heavy rains, leading to a high risk of illness for swimmers.

Those beaches rated poor are around Greater Melbourne and the Bellarine Peninsula.

Eleven beaches around the Mornington Peninsula have been given a rating of fair, meaning they may not be suitable and beach users should check for signs of pollution before going for a dip.

Beachgoers should look for drains flowing, discoloured water or a strange odour coming from the water.

Mr Metzeling says swimmers and pet owners just need to be patient.

“The conditions will improve over time in about 48 hours, assuming there is not more rain,” he told 3AW Mornings.

The EPA has also advised recreational shellfish collectors not to eat shellfish taken from the Hobsons Bay area due to an algal bloom, which could affect the water and the wildlife.

Beachgoers should check for latest water quality forecasts as the weather improves over the coming days.

3AW Mornings