Find out if fragments of coronavirus have been detected in wastewater near you.

Key points

  • 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
Colac Tue 1-Dec-2020 Detected
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.