Public and Environmental Health

Health Services

Public and environmental health services is responsible for the administration of Council's responsibilities as required by various Acts and Regulations which deal with:

  • Public and Environmental Health
  • Food safety and hygiene
  • Environmental protection and pollution prevention.

Public and Environmental Issues

Public and environmental health covers a wide range of activities and conditions that can affect the health of the community. The responsibilities of the division are categorised into three main areas:

  • Health premises inspections
  • Public and environmental health investigations
  • Vector control (headlice, flys, cockroaches, mosquitoes, mice and rats).

Food Safety and Hygiene

Food safety and hygiene covers a wide range of activities and responsibilities involved in the administration of the Food Act 2001, Regulations 2002 and Food Standards.

The objectives of these activities are to ensure that food offered for sale is fit for human consumption. The main categories in the food surveillance areas are:

  • Food premises inspection
  • Enforcement of food legislation
  • Food business notification advice
  • Food education courses
  • Food complaints investigations
  • Temporary catering advice.

Asbestos

Information on asbestos, its removal and legal requirements  can be found at here.

EPA Animal Carcass Disposal

Please click here to view information sheet.

European Wasps

Council provides a service to identify and destroy European Wasp nests.

Please contact Council's Customer Service team on (08) 8527 0200 if you locate a nest on your property. Further information can be found in the European Wasp Brochure, provided by the LGA.

Food Business Notification

All businesses selling food are required to notify their local council. Under the Food Act a food business means a business, enterprise or activity (other than a primary food production business) that involves:

  • the handling of food intended for sale; or
  • the sale of food

Regardless of whether the business, enterprise or activity concerned is of a commercial, charitable or community nature or whether it involves the handling or sale of food on one occasion only.

Food business even includes businesses like chemists, cinemas, corner stores, petrol stations and swimming pools, if they sell packaged or any other type of food.

Food businesses, from major food manufacturers to the local church group that holds a once per year food fair, have defined responsibilities under the legislation to ensure the safety of food.

Food business notification can be done by downloading a notification form and lodging it with Council, or contacting Environmental Health Officer on (08) 8527 0200 at the Council office for a notification form.

There is no fee for notification.

Mobile food businesses must notify the council in which the vehicle is normally garaged.

You need only complete the notification process ONCE unless your details change.

If you intend to hold a temporary event (such as a stall or sausage sizzle) you must also notify Council at least 2 weeks in advance and complete a Temporary Event Food Notification Form

Food Premises Inspections

The Adelaide Plains Council has more than 70 food premises located in the District, ranging from hotels and cafes to home based catering activities. Environmental Health section conducts routine inspections of all food premises, including food vans and stalls. The frequency of the inspections is based on a risk assessment rating.

The objective of the inspections is to assess premises, educate food handlers and enforce the relevant sections of the, Food Act 2001, Food Regulations 2002.

Food Premises inspections include the assessment of the following areas:

  • Food manufacturing
  • Structural condition of the premises
  • Cleanliness of premises and equipment
  • Food handler's level of hygiene
  • Food handling practices
  • Food storage

Free Online Food Safety Training

The Adelaide Plains Council is pleased to provide you with FREE and unlimited access to an exciting new product that will assist you and your food handlers in gaining valuable skills and knowledge in food safety and hygiene which will help to ensure only safe and suitable food is produced at your food business.

This program is presented in an interactive, easy to follow, and entertaining format and includes the ability for the user to print off an acknowledgement form and a certificate upon completion of the program that can be kept as a part of your staff records.

This training program will assist food business managers in ensuring all staff are trained in this important area and thereby reducing any risk of food borne illness resulting from poor food handling practices.

It is recommended that all food handlers within your food business take part in this training. This is a great opportunity to provide all your staff with training that would otherwise cost your business money and a great deal more in time.

To take part in the free training visit https://www.imalert.com.au/v6/?sub=mallala

For further information on the training download the flyer below or to discuss food safety topics within this training program, please contact the Environmental Health Officer on (08) 8527 0200.

Heath Premises Inspections

Health Premises are those premises that are required to comply with specific legislation or codes of practice. They usually pose a higher risk of disease transmission due to the nature of the activity or the large number of people attending those premises. Regular inspections of these premises are conducted to ensure they are complying with applicable standards and codes of practice. The Environmental Health Officer also investigates any customer complaints relating to possible breaches of the legislation.

Health Premises include:

  • Hairdressers
  • Skin Penetration or Tattooists
  • Public Access Swimming Pools and Spas
  • Supported Residential Facilities
  • Premises with High Risk Manufactured Water Systems such as Cooling Towers and Warm Water Systems

Immunisation

There are two facilities that provide an immunisation service in the district:

Mallala Medical Centre
34 Aerodrome Road, Mallala SA 5502
(08) 8527 2200

Two Wells Medical Clinic
32 Old Mallala Road, Two Wells SA 5501
(08) 8520 2411

Please Note - An appointment is necessary for either of the above facilities.

SA Health - Immunisation Program

Legionella Control in High Risk Manufacture Water Systems

The following information is provided to owners and operators responsible for the control of Legionella in manufactured water systems particularly:

High Risk Manufactured Water Systems must be operated and maintained in accordance with the Public Health Act 2013, Australian and New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS 3666)

For further inquiries please contact Council's Environmental Health Officer on (08) 8527 0200

Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes are a nuisance that can never be entirely eradicated. At best their numbers can be controlled through careful maintenance.

Mosquitoes can attack day or night. Not only are they a nuisance but some can spread serious disease when they bite, such as Ross River virus.

Mosquitoes mainly breed (and bite) during the summer months when many people are holidaying and relaxing outside. They are a natural part of the environment and ecosystem and practicing simple personal and household protection measures allows us to live with mosquitoes and reduce the risk of disease and nuisance.

The most important thing you can do to reduce mosquito numbers around your home is to check for potential breeding sites on your property, as mosquitoes can breed in standing water - fresh, salty or stagnant.

Check List:

  • Cover rainwater and septic tank openings with wire mesh no coarser than 1mm
  • Stock fish ponds and dams with small native fish to eat any "wrigglers"
  • Keep swimming pools disinfected and empty wading pools at the end of the day
  • Clean up and dispose of rubbish such as tyres, bottles and jars
  • Keep roof gutters in good repair and remove any leaves or debris that may form pools of water
  • Overturn boats or canoes or remove drain plug so they do not hold water after rain
  • Fill or drain depressions in the ground and maintain drains so that water can flow away
  • Empty stock troughs, bird baths and pets drinking water at least once a week
  • Empty pot plant drip trays once a week or fill with sand

Protect yourself and your family:

  • Cover up
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing covering as much of the body as possible
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET (diethyl toluamide) or picaridin on uncovered skin (caution: always read and follow the instructions on the label) - avoid using on babies and toddlers!
  • Make sure all windows and openings of houses, boats, caravans and tents are fitted with fine (1mm) insect screens
  • Cover sleep and rest areas with mosquito nets
  • Try not to go outside when there are lots of mosquitoes around - some mosquitoes will bite during the day, but many are at their peek two to three hours around sunrise and sunset

Further useful information on protecting yourself from mosquitoes can be found on the Department of Health Fight the Bite web page or by contacting Councils Environmental Health Officer on (08) 8527 0200.

Sharps Disposal

The Adelaide Plains Council currently provides a free sharps disposal service to residents of the District.

Residents can collect an empty sharps container from the front counter of the Council offices at 2a Wasleys Road, Mallala and the Two Wells Service Centre, Old Port Wakefield Road, Two Wells. When the containers are full the customer should return them to the Council for safe disposal and exchange for a new container.

If you find a needle on public or private property, please do not attempt to pick it up yourself. Contact the Council on (08) 8527 0200, and they will organise its safe removal.

Wastewater Systems (Septic Tanks and Treatment Plants)

There are 4 types of waste water control or septic systems available in the Adelaide Plains Council area - the conventional septic system, Aerobic systems, the Mallala sewer scheme and the Middle Beach STED scheme. There are also a range of other systems available, such as composting toilets, reed beds which may be assessed by Council providing they have been given system approval by the Department of Health.

Septic Tank Systems

A conventional septic system may be either all purpose or a water closet (WC) only, regardless of which, both systems function in the same manner. The system consists of two components, the septic tank and a soil absorption field or soakage trench. The tank will be installed in the ground with an access shaft over the lid opening to allow access for the tank to be pumped out (every 4 years). The trench system is also under ground and will only be visible via a breather pipe or vent pipe.

The system takes all household wastewater, the solids settle at the bottom of the tank while the fats float to the surface of the tank. The liquid portion (effluent) gradually moves into the trench (leaving the solids and fats behind) where it then soaks into the soil. If the tank is not pumped regularly to remove the solids then these solids will also begin to migrate through to the soakage trench. This is the main reason that these systems breakdown. The solids and fats can not be absorbed into the soil but rather clog the soil, which in turn prevents the effluent from soaking away. The only way the effluent can then escape is to break through to surface level, where it becomes a health hazard.

Mallala Sewer Scheme

This scheme is operational within the township of Mallala only and involves houses to be connected direct to a common sewer drain without the need for a septic tank All waste water is transported to a treated facility, the treated water will be used for irrigation purposes.

Middle Beach STES

The community of Middle Beach is connected to a septic tank efficient disposal system where the septic tank removes sludge and scum and is then pumped to a treatment plant with the treated waste water used as irrigation water.

Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems

Aerobic wastewater treatment systems may consist of a one or two tank system. They include a primary treatment component and a secondary treatment component where the wastewater is aerated and clarified before being stored in a pump chamber. The pump chamber is where disinfection occurs prior to the reclaimed water being discharged to the designated irrigation area. These systems require quarterly maintenance servicing by an accredited agent to ensure the reclaimed effluent complies with the discharge criteria stipulated by the DOH (Department of Health - SA). There is a cost associated with the service and a report must be submitted to Council by the agent to comply with the conditions of approval.

Which System?

The above systems are all acceptable in the Adelaide Plains Council, provided they comply with the Standard for the Construction, Installation and Operation of Septic Tanks in South Australia. The standard requires that each site be assessed for suitability of any chosen system.

Please note that this information is only intended as a guide and does not allow for all possible scenarios.

For further information please contact the Environmental Health section on (08) 8527 0200.

Site and Soil Report Requirements

The wastewater engineer must provide a site and soil suitability report to the relevant authority.
The report must include, but not be limited to:

  • Details of the investigations carried out
  • Site plan clearly showing:
    • Soil sampling locations
    • Allotment dimensions
    • Location and dimensions of the proposed land application system
    • Existing and proposed buildings and structures e.g. retaining walls
    • Details of earthworks proposed as part of the site development
  • Type of proposed system to be installed
  • Information about the soil types encountered at the sampling locations in the area of the proposed land application system
  • Nominated effluent percolation rate (EPR), design loading rate (DLR) or design irrigation rate (DIR) as applicable 1
  • Design of the land application system including soil horizon at which the base of the land application systemis to be founded
  • Assessment of site suitability for long term effluent disposal/reuse
  • A summary of site characteristics as described in On-Site Wastewater Systems Code
  • Supporting information with respect to climate characteristics including rainfall and evaporation which may affect the performance of the wastewater system
  • Comments regarding features on adjoining allotments which may affect or be affected by the proposed wastewater system
  • Any required surface water diversion
  • Any limitations of the proposed system
  • Any other requirements of the relevant authority.

* Locations with highly permeable soils have an increased risk of effluent /recycled water polluting surface and/or ground waters. Careful consideration is necessary to mitigate the risk, and additional design and/or construction may be necessary. Soils demonstrating a percolation rate of greater than 150 mm /hour or category 1 and 2 soils as determined by AS/NZS 1547 (see chapter 9) require additional consideration. The site and soil assessment report shall include statements, supporting information and detailed strategies which will be used to minimise the risk of effluent/recycled water from the on-site wastewater system polluting ground and/or surface waters.

Application Forms and Fees

The construction, installation or alteration of an on-site watewater syatem requires approval under the provisions of the South Australian Public Health (Watewater) Regulations 2013.

No work in relation to the construction, installation or alteration of a waste control system can occur until the approval of the relevant authority has been granted. The installation or alteration of a waste control system is primarily a role of the local Council.

The Adelaide Plains Council is responsible for the approval and inspection of all installations and alterations in the district. This requires all applicants to advise Council of any work that they are undertaking in the area. Plumbing work can only be carried out by licensed operators and this includes owner/builders.

Application forms can be downloaded as a PDF document from the list below:

Wastewater System Application Form (Septic tank)

Other Agencies