Chemistry of the Bays – Water Quality

Science & Monitoring
EPA staff member at Port Phillip Bay measuring water quality

In week five of our 11-week campaign to celebrate Victoria’s marine environment, we are exploring the chemistry of Port Phillip and Western Port Bays, sharing insights from the Victorian State of the Bays (SotB) 2016 report, the next iteration of the report will include an expanded scope and be titled  to the Victorian State of the Marine and Coastal Environment (SMCE) 2021 report – currently in preparation by the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.

This week we are looking at water quality. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Victoria currently samples water quality monthly at 11 sites in Port Phillip Bay and three sites in Western Port.

The range of indicators include:

  • nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and silicate)
  • water clarity (total suspended solids) and turbidity
  • salinity (salt)
  • dissolved oxygen
  • pH
  • metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel and zinc)
  • algae such as chlorophyll-b and c and chlorophyll-a fluorescence, and plankton
  • harmful algae blooms (Port Phillip Bay only)
  • sediment contamination
  • water temperature, and
  • faecal contamination (Port Phillip Bay only).

We invite you to head to the Water Quality page of our interactive State of the Bays website here and access the SotB 2016 report – the next iteration of the report will include an expanded scope and be titled  the Victorian SMCE 2021 report – currently in preparation by the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.