Beachgoers are being warned  to stay away from many of Melbourne’s popular beaches after the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) warns of low quality water at 21 out of 36 of the beaches due to faecal matter being washed in to the sea after massive storms hit the area.

The EPA’s Manager of Applied Sciences Dr Anthony Boxshall told ABC News 24 “It’s bird poo, it’s horse poo, it’s cow poo and it’s people poo.

“It is everything that washes in from the streets, and everything that comes out through the storm water system.”

The affected beaches are thought to stretch from Werribee South to Frankston – the water should be OK in 24-48 hours – the EPA will be testing the water regularly and will post updates on it’s website