Coorong District Council

Health

Health Matters

Council has a duty of care to promote appropriate standards of public health and this is accomplished through Council's Environmental Health Officer - Jim Quinn who operates under the Public & Environmental Health Act and associated Regulations, advocating public health through the prevention of disease, environmental protection and the control of insanitary conditions. 

Issues the EHO can assist you with include, food safety and food complaints, septic tank and plumbing approvals, inspections and complaints, Immunisation services, mosquito control and mosquito borne diseases and other environmental issues including some of the following;

  • Health Premises Inspections
  • Vermin, rodents and other pests
  • Swimming Pools and Spa Pools
  • Keeping of animals
  • Cooling Towers
  • Hairdressers, Beauty Salons & Tattooists
  • Headlice
  • Mosquitoes
  • Septic tank systems - see wastewater management
  • food poisoning outbreaks  - see food safety
  • Immunisation

See Council's Environmental Health Management Plan for further information  

 

Health Premises Inspections

Health premises are those businesses that are required to comply with specific legislation or codes of practice.  They generally present a higher possible risk of disease transmission due to the nature of the activity and the large number of people attending those premises. Council conducts inspections of these premises to ensure they are complying with applicable standards and codes of practice.

Health premises include:

  • Hairdressers / Beauty Therapists
  • Skin penetration / Tattooists
  • Public swimming pools and spas
  • Child care centres and kindergartens
  • Supported Residential Facilities
  • Premises with cooling towers
  • Waste control installations (i.e. septic tanks, aerobic systems)

 

Vermin, Rodents and other pests

Rats & Mice

Rodents 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.

European Wasps

The European wasp is an introduced pest to Australia, our mild climate has allowed it to survive and flourish.  Control of their numbers is important to ensure they do not impact unfavourably on our lifestyle and environment.  These pests are often attracted to our picnics, barbecues and other outdoor activities.  Unfortunately they enjoy the same types of food that we do, such as meat and sweet foods.  Do not aggravate the wasp as it may sting and unlike a bee the European wasp can sting multiple times.  If left undisturbed, however, the wasp is not aggressive to humans or animals. 

Having wasps around on a regular basis indicates that there is a nest nearby. It is important that the nest be located and destroyed.  If you find a nest site, it is very important not to disturb it - disturbing the nest may result in repeated stings.  If a European wasp nest is found call the Council's Environmental Health Officer and we will investigate your request and if necessary arrange for pest contractor to destroy the nest.

For further information and photos of European wasps please click here

Please note that Council only provides treatment for European wasps and not for native wasps such as Paper wasps and Mud wasps.  If you are unsure of the type of wasp you have please click here for further information.

Should you require further information, please contact the Environmental Health Officer  on 1300 785 277 or Email jquinn@coorong.sa.gov.au

 

Swimming Pools and Spa Pools

Public swimming pools and spas are routinely monitored to ensure that the water quality complies with the legislative requirements and that the facilities are properly maintained.  Council has 4 public pools that the EHO inspects on a regular basis.  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 Officer may require the owners to take action under the Public and Environmental Health Act.

Council's Environmental Health Officer deals with customer enquiries and concerns relating to all of the above topics.  If you need to lodge a complaint you can do so by contacting Council and providing information to the Environmental Health Officer.

 

Animals

Health matters relating to dog ownership

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 $300 expiation notice (fine) under the Public and Environmental Health Act 1987.  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.

PetPEP program

The PetPEP program is an education program conducted in every school in the Coorong Council District by Council's EHO and General Inspector (GI) to educate children on how to remain healthy and safe around pets, how to look after their pets and how to behave around strange dogs.  The program also teaches the primary school students about responsible pet ownership and to enhance their overall understanding of animals.

PetPEP covers topics such as;

  • Behaving Safely Around Pets
  • Choosing the Right Pet
  • Being Responsible for a Pet
  • Preparing for a Pet
  • Caring for Your Pet's Health
  • Treating All Animals Well

Some examples from the PetPEP Program can be viewed here:

For further information about Council's PetPEP program please call Jim Quinn - Environmental Health Officer, or Michael Vivian - General Inspector on 1300 785 277.

See also Councils information on Dog and Cat Management and also brochure on Pet Diseases of Concern

 

Cooling Towers

Cooling towers are used extensively in commercial and industrial buildings as an aid to manufacturing processes and as part of air conditioning systems.  As the name implies, these towers cool water that has been heated and in the cooling process, fine mist aerosols may escape into the atmosphere. Microbial growth can occur in cooling tower systems if they are not properly maintained resulting in a biofilm. This biofilm can provide food and shelter to support the growth of Legionella bacteria, the cause of Legionnaires' Disease.

Environmental Health Officers are required to conduct routine monitoring of registered cooling towers within the Council area to ensure that proper standards are maintained.

If you have a new premises containing a cooling tower, please contact Council to notify us of its existence. If you are an existing business and have cooling tower(s) on site, please contact Council on 1300 785 277.

 

Hairdressers, Beauty Salons & Tattooists

The Coorong District Council has 7 registered premises that are considered to practice hairdressing and/or skin penetration. These businesses notify Council of their existence so that they can be inspected to ensure they have safe and hygienic practices.  Council provides 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:

Hairdressing

http://www.dh.sa.gov.au/pehs/publications/hairdressing-guideline-april06.pdf

Skin Penetration

http://www.dh.sa.gov.au/pehs/publications/skin-penetration-guide-10feb05.pdf

  

Head Lice

Surprisingly there still appears to be a social stigma associated with the occurrence of head lice in children.  Lice infest males and females of all socio-economic positions and age groups. Council's Environmental Health Officer is 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.

There is a reading material available about headlice that can be found at the Department of Health

In addition please see the Council's informative slide show

 

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 areas such as poorly maintained swimming pools and rainwater tanks. Following a few simple rules will eliminate mosquito-breeding sites and provide personal protection against their bites.  See the attached link for Mosquito Control advice and Mosquito fact brochure and Community information Advertisement.

The Department of Health has developed "fight the bite" resources that can be found at:

http://www.dh.sa.gov.au/pehs/publications/mozzies-fight-bite.htm

 

Immunisation

The Council is a broker for the Department of Health for school based immunisation servies and have three (3) local subcontractors who provide the services to schools within the area.  Council contributes to the School Based Immunisation Program with an equivalent amount of funding to that allocated by the Department of Health to ensure that appropriate medical professionals deliver this service.

For childhood immunisation services please contact your local Medical Centre for advice.

 

For additonal information on any of the above matters please contact Council's Environmental Health Officer - Jim Quinn on 1300 785 277 or email jquinn@coorong.sa.gov.au

 

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