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Gastro risk at three Melbourne beaches

AAP logoAAP 4/01/2017 Luke Costin

Three of Melbourne's most popular beaches are unsafe for swimming due to high levels of faecal bacteria following last week's massive storms.

Those trying to cool off in Port Phillip Bay on Thursday are warned against swimming at Mentone, Port Melbourne and Frankston due to the risk of contracting gastro.

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria has also forecast fair water quality at a dozen suburban beaches including St Kilda and South Melbourne, meaning they too may not be suitable for swimming.

"It is basically because of that stormwater pulse that came through after the massive storm last week," EPA's group manager of applied sciences, Anthony Boxshall, told AAP on Thursday.

"It's just taking a lot longer to clear through the system."

Heavy rainfall predicted for Thursday afternoon could further contaminate the waters at Melbourne's beaches, before Saturday's forecast top of 36C.

"Rain is not the friend of beach water quality so rain will probably continue to bring poor water quality," Dr Boxshall said.

Port Phillip Bay users can stay updated via the twice-daily forecasts posted on the EPA's Yarra and Bay website.

A free SMS notification service is also available.

Regardless of the water quality rating, Dr Boxshall advises beachgoers to always avoid swimming near stormwater drains and creek outlets.

MELBOURNE'S WATER QUALITY FORECASTS ON THURSDAY MORNING

* Poor quality: Mentone, Port Melbourne and Frankston

* Fair quality: Werribee South, Sandridge, South Melbourne, St Kilda, Elwood, Brighton, Sandringham, Black Rock, Beaumaris, Aspendale, Carrum, Frankston Pier.

* Good quality: 21 beaches.

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