- Wastewater monitoring can show the possible presence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a local community.
- Samples of untreated wastewater are analysed for fragments of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes coronavirus (COVID-19).
- If fragments are detected where there have not been recent positive cases, local communities can be more alert and health authorities can target public health advice and increase testing to minimise transmission.
For more information on how wastewater testing may provide early warning of coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the Wastewater testing page.
Where is wastewater being tested?
Wastewater samples are taken from more than 40 sites including the large Melbourne Eastern and Western wastewater treatment plants, regional wastewater treatment plants and locations throughout the metropolitan sewerage system.
The map and table below show where wastewater samples are collected from wastewater treatment plants across Victoria.
Why are you testing wastewater?
Wastewater testing is not new. This method has been used around the world to monitor poliovirus, norovirus and adenovirus in wastewater.
Victoria has joined other Australian states and territories and New Zealand in collaborative research to understand the occurrence of coronavirus (COVID-19) viral fragments in wastewater. We use this information alongside testing results and other health data in our response efforts.
Coordinated by Water Research Australia, the ColoSSoS (Collaboration on Sewage Surveillance of SARS-COV-2) project brings together health departments, water utilities, laboratories and researchers to share advances in this rapidly evolving field.
Does the detection of viral fragments in wastewater always mean there is an active case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the area?
No. A positive wastewater test result may be due to someone with coronavirus (COVID-19) being in the early active infectious phase or someone who is no longer infectious continuing to ‘shed’ the virus. It can take several weeks for someone to stop shedding the virus.
The person or people shedding the virus may be local or visiting a community.
What does it mean if viral fragments are detected in wastewater in my area?
A positive wastewater test result may be due to someone with coronavirus (COVID-19) being in the early active infectious phase or someone who is no longer infectious continuing to ‘shed’ the virus. It can take several weeks for someone to stop shedding the virus.
If viral fragments are detected where there are or have recently been coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, it is likely that no additional public health measures will be needed. The situation will continue to be monitored.
If viral fragments are detected where there have not been recent positive cases, local communities can be more alert and health authorities can target public health advice, call for people to get tested and increase testing to minimise transmission.
|Site||Latest sample date||COVID-19 status|
|Aireys Inlet||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Altona||Mon 30-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Anglesea||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Apollo Bay||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Ararat||Mon 23-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Bacchus Marsh||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Bairnsdale||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Ballarat North||Sun 22-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Ballarat South||Mon 23-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Bannockburn||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Benalla||Mon 30-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Bendigo||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Birregurra||Thu 26-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Black Rock||Mon 23-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Boneo||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Brushy Creek||Tue 1-Dec-2020||Not Detected|
|Castlemaine||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Corio West||Tue 1-Dec-2020||Not Detected|
|Cowes||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Craigieburn||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Daylesford||Mon 23-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Eastern Treatment Plant||Tue 1-Dec-2020||Not Detected|
|Gisborne||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Halls Gap||Mon 23-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Hamilton||Thu 26-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Horsham||Mon 30-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Kilmore||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Koorlong||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Lilydale||Tue 1-Dec-2020||Not Detected|
|Lorne||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Melton||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Mildura||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Moe||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Mount Martha||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Nhill||Mon 30-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Northern Water Plant (Corio)||Tue 1-Dec-2020||Not Detected|
|Pakenham||Thu 26-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Portarlington||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Portland||Thu 26-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Riddells Creek||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Romsey||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Shepparton||Mon 30-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Stawell||Mon 30-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Sunbury||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Swan Hill||Mon 23-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Traralgon (Gippsland Water Factory)||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Wangaratta||Thu 26-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Warragul||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Warrnambool||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Western Treatment Plant||Mon 30-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Winchelsea||Thu 26-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Wodonga||Wed 25-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Wonthaggi||Mon 30-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
|Woodend||Tue 24-Nov-2020||Not Detected|
Information about this data
Data presented in this interactive report is updated weekly. It is the most accurate data available to the Department of Health and Human Services at the time of publication.
It can take two or more days from when a sample is taken to receive initial laboratory test results and a further two or more days to receive confirmed results.