AUTHORITIES have warned people against swimming in four Great Ocean Road estuaries after finding unsafe levels of bacteria in the water.
Colac Otway Shire Council has placed signs at Wye River, Separation Creek, Kennett River and Skenes Creek to advise people of the contamination.
Council health and community services manager Greg Fletcher said the council collected water samples on January 11 which showed the sites had “unacceptable levels of bacterial contamination”.
“The contamination is most likely from animal manure washed into the waterways by the isolated by heavy downpours of rain we have received since New Year’s Eve,” Mr Fletcher said.
“Other sources of contamination that may have contributed to the results include organic refuse flushed through the stormwater system,” he said.
“Further samples since January 11 show that the bacterial count has dropped, but not enough to re-open the estuaries for swimming.”
Mr Fletcher said the council tested estuary water during summer to ensure it was safe for swimming, and it would take another set of samples this week.