Acidic water in Anglesea River

12 October 2017

Anglesea residents and visitors should avoid swimming in the Anglesea River due to acidic water in the estuary.

Signs have been erected around the river, advising people not to eat dead or dying fish, and not to swim in it.

Anglesea River experiences occasional acidic or low pH water quality events due to natural sources of acid in the catchment. An acid flush is most likely when a long dry spell is broken by soaking rain. It is often the cause of fish deaths in the Anglesea River, while swimming in the water may cause irritation to skin and eyes.

The public health announcement to avoid swimming and eating dead or dying fish was made in accordance with the joint agency Anglesea River Estuary Acid Event Response Plan

Anglesea Ward Councillor Margot Smith said the water was being monitored regularly by Council and Corangamite CMA.

“The river will recover naturally from acid events as the catchment upstream dries out and the pH returns to neutral,” she said.

“The community is notified when there is an acid event, and also when the river has recovered and is safe for water-based activities again.”

Fellow Anglesea Ward Councillor Libby Coker said while the river was impacted by acidic water, there were still numerous activities for visitors to see and do.

“Anglesea is known as an adventure destination, with people able to explore our nature trails, stunning coast and playgrounds,” Cr Coker said.

“Whether you’re looking for an action-packed day or relaxation, there’s something for everyone.”

If people see large numbers of fish, crustaceans or eels that appear to be dead or struggling, contact EPA’s Pollution Hotline on 1300 372 842.

For a list of attractions in Anglesea, visit