Our Environmental Health Officers provide services to residents and business proprietors and help to ensure compliance with the Health Act and its Regulations, the Environmental Protection Act relating to noise pollution, and the City of Melville's Local Health Laws.
The City of Melville's Health and Wellbeing Strategy identifies the health and wellbeing needs of the community and outlines distinct service planning priorities and service provision strategies for the City over the next three years.
Policies and strategies that the City of Melville has adopted have been identified through analysis of health and other relevant data from various sources and through consultation with a cross organisational steering group endorsed by the Executive Management Team.
If you have any questions about anything we do, contact the Environmental Health Team:
- Phone: 9364 0666
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Health Information
Below are a list of tabs that provide information on various aspects of public health, including laws and what to do if you experience a specific public health issue.
The City of Melville's Health Local Laws prohibit the release of smoke, dust or odours which can cause a nuisance and significant health issues such as asthma and other respiratory problems.
Excessive smoke from wood-heaters results can cause respiratory problems. The following can help minimise smoke and reduce the maintenance and running costs of your wood-heater:
- Burn dry, seasoned and untreated firewood
- Stack wood under cover in a dry, ventilated area
- Use small logs
- Burn the fire brightly, even if burning overnight
More information on smoke from wood-heaters can be found on the Department of Environment Regulation website.
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Some methods of dust control include (but are not limited to):
- Applying water or a binding agent to areas that are likely to produce dust
- Ensuring adequate water availability, contact the Water Corporation Technical Services Division on 131 395 for further information
- Ensuring stockpiles and finished ground are stabilised
- Erection of temporary screening (minimum two metres in height with porosity of around 50 per cent) in the direction of prevailing winds
- Ensuring trucks entering and leaving sites are covered and that any spillage onto the ground surface and roads is promptly cleaned up
More information on air quality can be found on the Department of Environment Regulation website.
Lodge an online request.
If you are experiencing difficulties with odours, the Environmental Health Team may be able to help. Please contact customer service or lodge an online request.
People that are causing noise are often unaware of its effect on their neighbours. If you are being affected by noise pollution we recommend that you approach the person causing the problem as this often resolves the issue and helps with maintaining a good relationship with your neighbour. To help with this the City has developed a Dear Neighbours Card as part of the Friendly Neighbourhood initiative to bring issues to the attention of neighbours.
What are the Common Causes of Noise that Affect Neighbours?
There are a wide variety of noise sources that our Environmental Heath Officers can help with, the most common examples that cause complaints are:
- Party noise and loud stereos
- Musical instruments
- Air conditioners and pool pumps
- Construction Noise
- Power tools, lawn mowers, and other devices
- Alcohol Licensed premises
- Barking Dogs can also constitute a source of noise.
What Laws are used to Manage Noise Pollution?
The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 controls noise emissions from the majority of noise sources within the community.
Noise from construction work is allowed from 7:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Saturday only. Outside these times the noise has to be under the levels in the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations (unless a permit to operate outside these hours is issued by the City).
Domestic Equipment Noise
Domestic equipment can be used between 7:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Saturday and 9:00am to 7:00pm Sundays/public holidays. Lawnmowers, chainsaws, power tools etc can be used for a maximum of two hours in any day. For further information see our Noise Information Sheet.
Music noise emitted from a party will generally exceed the prescribed noise level. Neighbours will in most cases tolerate 'one off parties' if they have been advised prior to the party of the following:
- The date and start and finish times of the party, neighbours may choose to make alternative arrangements to go out for the evening
- The music will be switched off or turned down to a quiet level at midnight on weekends (or earlier during the week), this is generally accepted by the community but is not law
- A phone number to ring if the music gets too loud
Even if the above guidelines are followed neighbours may still complain to the Police or to the Council about noisy parties. The Police and the Council have the power to turn music off, infringe and/or confiscate equipment.
Air Conditioners, Pool Pumps and Machinery Noise
With the reduction in size of the average block and the consequent proximity of dwellings to each other it is imperative that property owners and installers locate air conditioners, pool pumps and other noisy machinery in the most suitable location. In general, if noise from machinery can be heard inside a neighbouring dwelling after 10pm, the noise is unreasonable and will not comply with the assigned noise levels.
The Installers Guide to Air Conditioner Noise provides information to installers and residents regarding various factors that influence noise received by a neighbour. It is strongly recommended for consideration prior to the installation of an air conditioner, pool pump or other noisy equipment. Alternatively, visit the Fairair website to assist with your noise calculations.
Community Activities Noise
Noise from the following community activities is considered exempt noise:
- Noise emitted by spectators at an organised sporting activity
- Noise emitted by participants and spectators at a meeting or procession which has been authorised under the Public Meetings and Processions Act 1984
- Noise emitted from church services, where the worship takes place on land which is exempt from rates because of its religious use.
- Noise emitted from a recreational or educational premises under control of the Principal (the activity may use musical instruments but not mechanical equipment)
- Noise emitted from agricultural shows, fairs, fetes, exhibitions and similar events
Musical Instrument Noise
Noise from musical instruments are allowed for a maximum of one hour in any day between 7.00am and 7.00pm Monday to Saturday and 9.00am to 7.00pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Security Alarm Noise
The Police have the power to inactivate house or car alarms if the alarm is emitting unreasonable noise and has been sounding for more than 30 minutes. If the alarm system is an ongoing problem, please contact customer service.
Report a Noise Problem
Report a noise problem via our online service system:
- Report on air conditioners, pool pumps or other machinery noise (including lawn mowers/power tools)
- Report on music, party, band or concert noise
- Report on musical instrument noise
- Report on construction site noise
- Report on Security Alarm Noise
Alternatively complete the Noise Complaint Form and Log Sheet and send to the City of Melville:
- In person at the City of Melville Civic Centre, 10 Almondbury Road, Booragoon, from 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
- By mail to: City of Melville, Locked Bag 1, Booragoon WA 6954
- By email at email@example.com
Some types of noise cannot be investigated by the City such as vehicles on roads, antisocial behaviour (ie screaming and yelling) and wild animals.
For after hours attendence and reporting contact our Community Security Service (CSS) team on 1300 653 643. The CSS will attend to witness and report on the noise and pass on the details to our Environmental Health Team the following working day. CSS Officers will not intervene or approach the noise maker. If needed you should contact the police to deal with unreasonable noise. All information provided will be kept strictly confidential.
Australia has the highest per-capita rate of asbestos diseases in the world with rates of malignant mesothelioma continuing to climb, particularly those associated with home maintenance and renovation. Since the ban of asbestos in Australia in December 2003, it has been important for Melville local business owners to learn the appropriate way to prevent asbestos fibres entering the atmosphere when moving, exposing or disposing of any material containing asbestos.
If left undisturbed asbestos generally does not pose a health risk. However, when disturbed during renovations, asbestos fibres can be released into the air. If inhaled it can cause life threatening diseases, including lung cancer, pleural disease, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
All renovators should be mindful that there are some jobs that they should not try to take on themselves and that there are rules around the amount of asbestos they can handle.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous silicate mineral. It was considered a versatile product in building materials as it was able to withstand heat, erosion and decay and had fire and water resistant properties. It is a known carcinogen but only poses a health risk if fibres small enough to be breathed into our lungs, become airborne and are inhaled.
Where is Asbestos Found?
Properties built before 1987 are more than likely to have building materials contain asbestos.Properties built between the mid 1980's to 1990 are likely to have building materials containing asbestos. Asbestos was commonly mixed with cement building purposes or woven into fabric and used for insulation purposes.
Common places Asbestos can be found:
- Fibro Sheets
- Downpipes and gutters
- Ceiling, floor, boiler or oven insultation
- Roof and floor tiles
- Flooring adhesives
- Soundproofing materials
- Plaster and joint compounds
- Plastics in paints and adhesives
- Casings for electrical wires
- Dog Kennels
- Garages and Sheds
- Kitchen splashbacks
- Flues to fireplaces
- Carpet underlay
Can I Remove Asbestos from My Home Myself?
f you intend to remove asbestos yourself than remember to:
- Wet the surface of asbestos material down with a low pressure hose before commencing work to prevent blowing asbestos fibres into the air
- Do not use power tools on any asbestos material
- Try and keep the asbestos in one piece
- If you need to break any asbestos sheets make sure the surfaces are very wet, to reduce the likelihood of fibres being released into the air
- Wear suitable personal protective clothing, disposable coveralls and gloves are best
- Wear a P1 or P2 respirator so you don’t inhale any fibres
- Wash your hands and shower after handling asbestos cement products
- Dispose of asbestos material at an approved landfill site
We recommend that the removal of large quantities, or the removal of friable asbestos such as thermal and acoustic products ( e.g. insulation and lagging) be completed by a licensed contractor. Details of licensed removalists can be obtained from the Department of Commerce (WorkSafe WA) on 9327 8777 or from their website.
Dispose of Asbestos Products Properly
Asbestos material must be separated from other material and wrapped in heavy duty plastic sheeting and taped shut. The sheeting must then be labelled clearly with “Caution Asbestos” on the front. Remember to keep the asbestos sheeting damp whilst wrapping it.
All asbestos material must be disposed of at a landfill or waste disposal site licensed by the Department of Environment Regulation. Not all landfill sites accept asbestos.
More information on disposal of asbestos may be found the Department of Environmental Regulation website.
The Cancer Council WA and the Environmental Health Directorate of the Department of Health have launched a free online course, where home renovators and DIYers can learn about locating, safely handling and disposing of asbestos as well as learning more about asbestos-related diseases. Details can be found on the Cancer Council WA website.
To report an asbestos problem in your area, please contact customer service on 1300 635 845 or lodge an online request.
During summer months, we are likely to spend more time outdoors. Whether you are planning a barbeque with friends, spending time in the pool or having a lazy afternoon by the river, it is important to protect yourself from disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Many mosquitoes are at their biting best around dusk and dawn, although you can get bitten any time of the day or night. Always remember to consider your personal protection as well as mosquito proofing your house for the summer months to stop mosquitoes biting you and your family.
Here are some helpful tips and tricks for avoiding mosquito bites:
Did you know that mosquitoes can bite through tight fitting clothing? The best clothing to wear is loose fitting and long sleeved, linen and cotton are great materials to consider.
The best insect repellents contain up to 10% DEET or picaridin. Apply the repellent liberally directly to the skin and spread evenly with your hands, sparingly applied repellent will not be as effective. Check the instructions on your repellent for specific application details.
Repellent is not recommend for children under the age of 12 months, so the best approach to avoid mosquito bites is to stay indoors when possible. When outdoors, use pram netting and dress them in long sleeved clothing with shoes and socks. For children over 12 months apply repellent to all of their exposed skin by applying to your own hands first and then spreading evenly.
Mosquitoes in Western Australia can transmit Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses most commonly. If you are travelling north, Kunjin and Murray Valley encephalitis can also be transmitted but not as commonly. There is no vaccine or cure for mosquito-borne diseases, so the one way we can protect ourselves is to avoid being bitten. If you are concerned that you or your family has contracted any of these viruses please seek medical advice.
Problem Areas Tips for Reducing Mosquito Breeding Pot plant drip trays, bird baths, pet’s water bowls Empty and clean thoroughly weekly Gutters Clean out any debris that may cause water pooling Dirty and stagnant swimming pools Properly maintain swimming pool chemical levels and clean out debris often. Wading pools Empty daily and refill when required Garden ponds Put fish, such as goldfish and koi, in your garden ponds to eat mosquito larvae and ensure the edges of the pond are free of vegetation Rainwater and septic tank openings Cover rainwater and septic tank openings with mosquito proof mesh
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Rats are a major risk to the health of the community. They can assist in the transmission of a number of diseases.
Signs of Rat Activity
- Droppings (12mm to 18mm long)
- Debris such as snail shells with the sides eaten out, almond shells, cape lilac berries, chop bones, etc. left in the corners of sheds, under homes and other secluded spots
- Signs of fruit and vegetables having been eaten
- Greasy rub marks along paths they travel
- Burrow holes around buildings
- Signs of gnawing damage
- Pet dogs, cats, birds being more excitable than usual
- Squeaking, gnawing or movement noises in walls, cupboard and ceilings and under floors
Rats can be discouraged and controlled by denying them food and shelter. A few simple precautions will prevent or help get rid of them:
- Store firewood away from the sides of sheds and fences and keep it well clear of the ground
- Regularly remove or limit garden waste or other disused material in sheds or aroundyour yard
- Remove fruit and nuts from trees or vines at the end of the season
- Block holes and other potential access points around all buildings
- Keep pet food dishes clean and store bulk pet food supplies in a manner which denies access to rats
- Rubbish bins and compost containers should be well maintained and free from holes
- Meat scraps must never be composted
- Thoroughly examine your property to ensure you have discouraged rats from making your home their home
Getting Rid of Rats
Poison baits are the most successful way of destroying rats. Many brands are available in retail shops. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and check baits regularly to ensure they are not accessible to children or pets and to see whether rats have been eating them.
The old-fashioned spring ‘back break’ trap is still the best trap for home use. However there is now available a plastic capture box which may also be used. Try different types of bait such as bacon, fish, nuts, peanut butter, apple, pumpkin seed or sausage. The City of Melville provides a limited amount of free rat bait to residents to assist with the destruction of rodents. You can obtain free sachets of rat bait from reception at the Civic Centre.
For more information on rats download the Facts on Rats Environmental Health Guide.
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Bees or Wasps
If you are experiencing difficulties with bees being kept on a neighbours property the Environmental Health team may be able to help. The City of Melville restricts the keeping of bees in residential areas through our local laws. These prevent anyone keeping hives on a lot without the permission of the Council.
Anyone keeping bees must also ensure:
- an adequate and permanent supply of water is provided on the lot within 10 metres of the hives
- the hive is;
- kept outside, and at least 10 metres from, any building other than a fence
- kept at least 10 metres from any footpath, street, private street or public place
- kept at least 5 metres from the boundary of the lot
- enclosed on all sides by a fence, wall or other enclosure
If the hive is causing a nuisance to neighbours then the Council may require the relocation or removal of the hive.
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On Council Property
If the bees or wasps are on City of Melville parks, reserves or verges, contact customer service or lodge an online request.
For bees or wasps in a Telstra Box contact Telstra on 13 22 03, for bees or wasps in an underground power box contact Western Power on 13 13 51.
- Termites can be found in the Department of Health Termite Leaflet
- European Wasps can be found on the Department of Food and Agriculture Website
- Fleas can be found in the Department of Health leaflet
- Ravens can be found in the Living with Ravens Information Sheet
- The Queensland Fruit Fly can be found in the Department of Agriculture and Food Information Sheet
The City's Health Department is responsible for the approval and subsequent inspection of on-site sewage and effluent disposal systems.
Most properties within the City of Melville are on the sewer network. Anyone wanting to install an onsite treatment system, such as a septic tank or aerobic treatment units will need to submit an application to the City of Melville for approval.
Visit the WA Department of Health website for information on greywater re-use and information required to make an application.
Waste Water/ Greywater Reuse
A greywater system can help you save water by irrigating your garden with water from the bath, shower, washing machine, and laundry trough. Some systems are also approved to use water from kitchen sinks. To install a greywater system in your home you will need approval from the City of Melville.
Further information on the type of grey water reuse systems that can be installed and more information or rainwater and septic tanks are available on the Department of Health website
Food safety and proper food practices are important, as every year it is estimated that there are 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia.
Stay safe while at home or out by following these simple top tips:
Wash you hands regularly with hot soapy water:
- Before starting to handle food
- Between handling raw and cooked food
- After visiting the toilet
- After handling the rubbish bin
- After handling pets
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
- Keep cold food below 5ºC, as bacteria grow more slowly below this temperature
- If you are cooking food that you intend to keep and serve later or on another day, make sure you cover the food and place in the refridgerator as soon as possible after cooking (preferrably just after food has stopped steaming)
- Do not leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours
- When cooking food make sure the food is steaming hot all the way through and when cooking mince or chicken that the juices run clear
- Store cooked and raw foods separately so that juices from raw foods do not drop onto cooked foods
- If placing cooked and raw foods in the same fridge make sure that raw foods are stored below cooked foods
- Do not use the same chopping boards and plates to put cooked foods on if you have used them for raw food.
Food Poisoning or Food Complaints
If you feel you have become ill from dining or food purchased within the City, please contact the Environmental Health Team so we can investigate. If you have any of the food left, please keep it and place it in the fridge or freezer until we can collect it from you.
Environmental Health Officer's routinely monitor recreational water quality at sites across the City to make sure they are safe.
Recreational Water Quality
The City of Melville residents have prime access to the Swan River and all the recreational activities and relaxation it provides. The suburbs of Bicton, Attadale, Alfred Cove, Applecross and Mount Pleasant all have foreshore access to the beaches and footpaths along the river.
The sheltered bays are ideal for family days out with shallow slow moving water proving a safe environment for children to play with supervision. For Boating enthusiasts there are ramps provided at Point Walter in Bicton and Deep water Point in Mount Pleasant. The river is often used by residents and visitors for a number of leisure pursuits such as fishing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding.
City of Melville Environmental Health Officers regularly conduct water sampling and site surveys at popular recreational water use areas throughout the warmer months. Recreational water sampling is undertaken to monitor bacterial levels in the water and ensure human health is protected.
Water Sampling Schedule
There are currently 6 sampling locations along our foreshore; Bicton Baths, Point Walter Kiosk and Boat Ramps, Cunningham Street and Waylen Bay and Deep Water Point. The Sampling Schedule runs from the beginning of November until the end of April.
During each site visit a bacteriological water sample is taken from knee high water which is sent away for analysis. At the time of sampling a field observation form is also completed. This records the conditions at the time of sampling such as recent rainfall events, weather conditions, water clarity and algae presence. The number and type of birds are also recorded along with the presence of dogs and other animals. Finally the current use is noted such as the amount of bathers and beach goers, boats and other water vessels.
Our sites are graded by the Department of Health based on the information collected during the current season and previous years. All 6 of our sites are classified as Good – Usually Safe for Swimming.
In the event that sampling finds bacterial levels are above the safety trigger limit then signs will be erected advising against using the water body until further notice. However it is important to be aware that we recommend that you avoid swimming after heavy rainfall.
Tips for Protecting Water Quality
In order to keep our river in a safe and suitable state for swimming there are some practical measures that residents can take:
- Whilst visiting a recreational water location ensure you use rubbish bins provided or take your litter home with you
- Always clean up after you dog
- Do not feed birds or leave litter that may attract them or other pests
- Do not enter the water if you have a contagious illness
- Always use aqua nappies on babies and toddlers
It is also important to consider what is allowed to enter storm water drains as these contaminants always end up in the river system and can make the water unsafe for humans as well as having serious consequences for aquatic life.
Aquatic Facility Sampling
City of Melville Environmental Health Officers are required to inspect and monitor all public aquatic facilities under the provisions of the Health (Aquatic Facilities) Regulations 2007. These Regulations require Aquatic Facilities to abide by the Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Operation, Management and Maintenance of Aquatic Facilities. Aquatic facility water must be kept clean and clear and have sufficient clarity to enable a person submerged at the deepest part to be visible to lifeguards or spectators.
Each month officers take water samples from all public swimming facilities within the City. During a sampling visit we check the chemical and physical water quality and also collect microbiological samples for analysis. Microbiological sampling is carried out to detect any bacteria or amoeba within the water which can grow to dangerous numbers in water that is not correctly maintained and disinfected.
Aquatic Facilities are also subject to an annual audit during to ensure the facility is complying with all the requirements of the Code and the Regulations. Physical observations are made during our visit and include visual water clarity and water temperature. During an audit all parts of the facility are inspected including change rooms, toilet facilities, plant rooms and chemical storage and First Aid facilities and equipment. We check all safety signage and depth markings as well as the suitability of surfaces, stairs and handrails and safety barriers etc. If any part of the facility is found to be in breach of the code or regulations then we will require action to be taken to make improvements.
If you have visited a public pool or aquatic facility within Melville and have concerns about water quality, facilities or health effects after using a pool or spa such as skin or respiratory problems contact our Environmental Health Team.
A public building is a place where persons may assemble for civic, theatrical, social, political, religious, educational, entertainment, recreational, sporting or business purposes. A public building can also include fenced off outdoor events such as music festivals
Our environmental health officers regularly carry out checks on public buildings to ensure compliance with the Health (Public Buildings ) Regulations 1992 in order to conclude a building is safe to visit. This includes checks on fire safety, sanitary accommodation and maintenance in public areas.
Organisers of public events are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of those attending. Where an event is considered to be held in a public building a Public Building Approval will be required.
Organisers should complete and return the following forms at least 14 days prior to the intended date:
- Public Building Form 1 - Application to Alter Construct or Extend a Public Building
- Public Building Form 2 - Application for a Certificate of Approval
Any temporary electrical installation should be examined and tested by a licensed electrician and Certificate of Electrical Compliance must ve submitted to Health Services prior to the start of the event.
For larger public events, involving alcohol, structures (such as marquees, stages or tiered seating), amplified entertainment or where the number of people attending is likely to exceed 50 please see Planning an Event or Function.