Environmental Health Officers administer the Public and Environmental Health Act 1987 and associated Regulations and undertake to promote public health through the prevention of disease, environmental protection and the control of insanitary conditions. 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.
Rats and Mice
Rats and mice 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 and mouse population, an abundance of food or the rats and mice may be affected by poison bait.
Environmental Health Officers investigate reports of suspected rat infestations on private property and if necessary may require the owner or occupier of premises to carry out work on the premises to minimise the harbourage of rats and mice. Compliance with such requests is encouraged, as non-compliance may result in an Insanitary Conditions Notice being served. Penalties may apply.
The City of Playford do not offer a baiting service, however it is encouraged that a property owner sources a professional pest controller if they are experiencing an infestation of rats or mice. To see what you can do to reduce and control vermin please view the General Rats and Mice Factsheet the City of Playford endorses.
Animal Keeping on Private Property
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 your green organics bin, or alternatively, placed in a tied up garbage bag and disposed of in your weekly rubbish bin.
Surprisingly there still appears to be a social stigma associated with the occurrence of head lice in children. Lice can unfortunately infest anyone, no matter what their age. Environmental Health Officers are available to give advice on the proper treatment of head lice, however they cannot conduct any treatments services.
The two most common headlice treatment methods are 'wet combing' and 'chemical' treatment:
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 often receives complaints 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.
For further information, the Department of Health has put together some great hints and tips that will help you and your family "Fight the Bite":
During winter months Council receives complaints about smoke generated from combustion heaters due to causing annoyance or distress to neighbours and polluting the environment. This is usually as a result of inefficient use of the heater and/or the burning of unseasoned or damp wood. Any complaints or enquiries regarding combustion heaters should be directed to the Environment Protection Agency on (08) 8204 2000. For more information, please contact:
If you would like to make an enquiry or need to lodge a complaint you can do so by contacting Council's Customer Care Centre on (08) 8256 0333. The Customer Care Officer will pass on your concerns to the relevant Environmental Health Officer or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org