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Aussies stunned by filthy Melbourne beach – but what is it?

A video shot on a popular Melbourne beach has locals feeling disgusted. As the camera pans along the sand, huge quantities of a dark brown substance can be seen covering the entire shoreline.

The person behind the post believes they know what it is. “Poo beach,” the caption on reddit reads. "[The] treatment plant had to relieve the levels.”

The poster claims that human waste had been dumped at Seaford, a beach along the city’s south east coast.

Brown substances on Seaford Beach.
A reddit user dubbed Seaford 'poo beach' after capturing large quantities of a dark brown substance piled onto the sand. Source: reddit (reddit)

Other users agreed that the mystery substance could be faeces.

“You are basically looking at raw s**t/toilet paper/soap etc washed up on the beach,” one person wrote online. “Due to the large volumes of rain recently, the Carrum downs sewerage treatment plant was overwhelmed and overflowed into the Dandenong creek which flows into the bay through Patterson Lakes.”

One person even claimed the situation was worse 30 kilometres up the coast towards Melbourne.

“[I] can verify Brighton dog beach is also a literal s**t show at the moment,” they wrote. “[I] took my dog there yesterday and then spent the afternoon and a whole bottle of dishwashing liquid trying to get rid of the disgusting congealed gunk that she was covered in.”

‘It looks like it’s moving’

While the mystery substance remained unconfirmed, plenty of social media users were quick to rule out any upcoming “beach days.”

“Don’t even think of going in the water anytime soon,” one person wrote. “Guess I’m not going there on my day off today,” another added, while someone else asked how the camera operator wasn’t “dry reaching.”

“It looks like it’s moving and it’s really unsettling,” one user commented. “Please tell me it’s his camera making the poo look like it’s got crawlies all over it,” another said.

Seaford Beach.
The Environment Protection Authority says people should avoid coming into contact with the water at Seaford Beach due to recent relief measures from the Eastern Treatment Plant. Source: Google Maps (Google Maps)

Melbourne water investigates the matter

On Sunday, Melbourne Water revealed that the Eastern Treatment Plant had been near capacity last week due to the recent heavy rainfall. As a result, there was a controlled discharge of treated wastewater into Taylors Drain on Friday.

Following a call from Yahoo News Australia on Tuesday, Melbourne Water officials headed to Seaford beach to investigate the video on Reddit. A spokesperson has since confirmed that the brown substance pictured in the video is in fact seaweed.

However, due to poor water quality as a result of the planned relief measures, the Environment Protection Authority “is advising the community to avoid contact with the water at Wadselys Drain, Eel Race Drain, the northern end of Kananoock Creek and Carrum, and Seaford Beach.”

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