Public Health

Councils Environmental Health Officer administers the Public and Environmental Health Act 2011 and associated Regulations and undertake to promote public health through the prevention of disease, environmental protection and the control of insanitary conditions.

Please feel free to contact Council on 8666 2014 or ehco@mtr.sa.gov.au if you have any enquiries. 

Some of the more common issues dealt with by Council's Environmental Health Officers are briefly discussed below and include links to more detailed information.

On-site Wastewater Control Systems

An onsite wastewater control system is a means of disposing of your effluent when there is no sewer or Community Wastewater Management Scheme available.

Installation approval must be obtained from the relevant authority before a wastewater system is installed or altered.

For small systems - up to 40 equivalent persons (EP) - applications for installation must be made to:

  • The Council for the area in which the system is to be installed. Further information can be obtained by contacting our Environmental Health Officer on 8666 2014 or email Council at ehco@mtr.sa.gov.au.

For larger systems - greater than 40 equivalent persons (EP) - contact the Department for Health and Ageing's Wastewater Management Section.

The EP calculation is based on a hydraulic flow of 150 litres/day per person and an organic load of 50 g BOD5/day per person at the septic tank outlet. If a large system is to be installed and you are not sure if it comes within these criteria, contact the Wastewater Management Section for further advice.

An application fee applies for installation applications. Contact officers from the above authorities for the current fee. We recommend that you discuss the proposed installation with these officers in the early stages of planning a property development. There may be important design considerations that need to be identified before planning decisions are made.

In an area serviced by SA Water or a Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS) operated by a local council or a private organisation, the installation proposal should be discussed with the service supplier. There may be a requirement for wastewater systems to be connected to the existing scheme.

Codes and Standards 

On-site wastewater systems code 

All products used for on-site wastewater treatment in South Australia must be approved by the Department prior to sale or installation. Check the approved products lists or contact the manufacturer/supplier of the wastewater system to ensure that the proposed unit is an approved product.

All new sanitary plumbing and drainage work must comply with the National Construction Code (NCC) Volume 3 Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), the South Australian Variations and/or Additional Provisions as listed in Appendix A of the PCA and the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3500 Plumbing and Drainage. The standard can be obtained from Standards Australia.

Application for an On-Site Wastewater works approval 

Maintenance

Regular maintenance of an on-site wastewater system is important for its efficient operation. If you have a property with a wastewater treatment system and would like to know more about its maintenance, the following fact sheets may provide useful information:

For any further enquiries or clarification, please don't hesitate to contact the Environmental Health Officer on 8666 2014 or email.

High Risk Manufactured Water Systems (HRMWS)

The Public and Environmental Health (Legionella) Regulations 2013 and Guidelines for the Control of Legionella in Manufactured Water Systems in South Australia came into operation on 16 June 2013. The Legionella Regulations and Guidelines aim to reduce the risk of community and healthcare acquired legionellosis.

The Legionella Regulations and guidelines formalise the management of warm water systems and cooling water systems in non-domestic setting in South Australia.

What is a cooling water system?

The Legionella Regulations define a cooling water system as ‘a heat exchange system that consists of a heat generating plant, a heat rejection plant, interconnecting water recirculating pipe work and associated pumps, valves and controls, and includes a cooling tower or evaporative condenser’.

What is a warm water system?

The Legionella Regulations define a warm water system as ‘a reticulated water system that distributes or recirculates warm water through the majority of its branches at a nominal temperature of 45°C by means of a temperature controlling device’.

Do the Legionella Regulations apply to me?

The Regulations apply to the owner(s)* of all warm water system(s) and/or cooling water system(s), except for systems installed in:

(a) a Class 1A, 4 or 10 building (private single domestic dwelling) under the Building Code, or

(b) a sole occupancy unit in a class 2 building (unit or flat) under the Building Code, provided that it is not a warm water system that serves more than one dwelling.

*Note: As specified in the Legionella Regulations, a reference to the owner of the premises includes a reference to an occupier of the premises if the occupier is responsible for the operation of the system.

Fact Sheets

Is my heated water system captured under the Legionella Regulations?

Reporting Forms

Notification of legionella detection in a water sample

Application Forms

Application form- cooling water systems maintenance

Alternative Decontamination Procedure for Cooling Water Systems

Alternative Decontamination Procedure for Warm Water Systems

Drift Eliminator Exemption for Cooling Tower

For any further enquiries or clarification, please don't hesitate to contact the Environmental Health Officer on 8666 2014 or email.

Rats

Rats are a well-known risk to public health due to their ability to spread a variety of serious diseases. They can also cause significant damage to properties due to their need to keep their teeth short by gnawing. Rats are usually nocturnal and if seen during daylight hours usually signify a large rat population, an abundance of food or the rats may be affected by poison bait. Environmental Health Officers investigate reports of suspected rat infestations and if necessary may require the owner or occupier of premises to carry out work on the premises such that rat harbourage is minimised. Compliance with such requests is encouraged, as non-compliance may result in an Insanitary Conditions Notice being served. Penalties may apply.

Animals

Environmental Health Officers are often called to investigate offensive odours on domestic premises when dog faeces are not being properly disposed of. In addition to the smell causing offence to neighbours, animal faeces left in gardens may provide a food source for pests and is considered insanitary if not properly managed. Any person allowing such an offensive condition may be issued with a expiation notice (fine). Dog faeces should be picked up and properly disposed of in a sanitary manner at a minimum of once a week. If you have a large dog or numerous dogs on the property, you will need to do this more frequently. It is recommended that the faeces is disposed of in a garbage bag, tied up, and disposed of in you weekly rubbish bin.

Hairdressers, Beauty Salons & Tattooists

The District Council of Mount Remarkable has a number of premises that are considered to practice hairdressing and/or skin penetration. These businesses should notify Council of their existence so that they can be inspected to ensure they have safe and hygienic practices. Having updated contact details will allow Council to provide them with any changes in legislation, codes of practice, or guidelines when necessary.

The Department of Health has produced Guidelines on the Public Health Standards for Hairdressing and Guidelines on the Safe and Hygienic Practice of Skin Penetration. These can be found at:

Head Lice

Lice infest males and females of all socio-economic positions and age groups. Environmental Health Officers are available to give advice on the proper treatment of head lice.

The two most common headlice treatment methods are 'wet combing' and 'chemical' treatment:

  • 'Wet combing' involves wetting hair and scalp liberally with hair conditioner to stun the headlice, then combing the headlice and nits out
  • 'Chemical' treatment uses 'pediculicides' which kill the headlice.
Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have long been considered a nuisance, particularly when their invasive biting disrupts social gatherings at home. Certain types of mosquito are known to transmit diseases such as malaria in the tropics and closer to home, Ross River Fever. Council does however receive complaints from time to time alleging mosquito breeding in swales, creeks, poorly maintained swimming pools and rainwater tanks. Following a few simple rules will eliminate mosquito-breeding sites and provide personal protection against their bites.

The Department of Health has developed "fight the bite" to aid with the spread of disease cause by mosquitoes.

Swimming Pools and Spa Pools

Public swimming pools and spa pools are routinely monitored to ensure that the water quality complies with the legislative requirements and that the facilities are properly maintained. There are no legislative controls that deal specifically with water quality in private pools and spas but should these facilities be not properly maintained on private premises (e.g. allowing mosquito breeding in dirty pool water), Council's Environmental Health Officers may require the owners to take action under the Public Health Act 2011.

Combustion Heaters

During winter months Council sometimes receives complaints about smoke generated from combustion heaters. This is usually as a result of inefficient use of the heater and/or the burning of unseasoned or damp wood. Put simply, smoke is unburnt fuel, which, in addition to wasting your money, may cause annoyance or distress to neighbours and pollute the environment.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) provides information about combustion heaters, for more information please follow this link.

Any complaints regarding combustion heaters should be directed to the Environment Protection Authority on (08) 8204 2004 or free call 1800 623 445.

PO Box 94
Melrose SA 5483
Tel: 08 8666 2014| Fax: 08 8666 2169