Traces of coronavirus have been found in Ararat's wastewater, but health officials say this is no cause for concern.
The Department of Health and Human Services has been collecting and testing samples for the virus from Ararat's wastewater treatment plant since late August.
It is one of 25 sites across the metropolitan and regional sewer network where this testing is taking place, to determine whether coronavirus is in communities where there are no known active cases.
"Prior to that samples were stored and frozen," a spokeswoman said.
"Traces of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been found in samples from Ararat wastewater treatment plant, as well as from many metropolitan and regional locations. This is expected, because there were known active or recent cases in these locations."
The one exception to this was on Victoria's Great Ocean Road. Recent results identified positive wastewater test results for the community of Apollo Bay even though there were no known cases in the town.
The spokeswoman said : "This led to repeat sewage testing, and public messaging for individual testing and a boost to local testing services".
She said anyone experiencing symptoms of coronavirus - which include a runny nose, loss or change in sense of smell or taste, fever, chills or sweats and coughing - must get tested.
A spokeswoman for GWMWater, which operates the treatment plant, said the organisation could not comment on the matter.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Ararat Advertiser, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ararat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.