Council’s Environmental Health Officers are responsible for a wide range of public health services including conducting immunisation clinics and water quality monitoring.
Council regulates particular public health risk activities such as tattooing and ear and body piercing that involve skin penetration. The premises where these activities are conducted must be annually registered and the person undertaking the public health risk activities requires a licence. Council’s Environmental Health Officer must be satisfied, before a licence is issued, that the person has sufficient skills and knowledge.
(Application form link).
Cooling Towers and Warm Water Systems
Cooling towers and warm water systems provide ideal conditions for the growth of Legionella, a group of bacteria known to cause illness in people.
To improve maintenance and operation of these systems, to minimise the opportunities for the spread of Legionella and to assist in tracing possible environmental sources of a Legionella infection, owners of cooling towers and warm-water systems must register these systems with Council.
It is a legal requirement to comply with the Guidelines for the Control of Legionella in Regulated Systems.
Operators must ensure microbiological testing of their regulated systems is conducted in accordance with these guidelines and records are kept.
To register your system, please submit an Application for Registration of a Regulated System (insert link)
Places of Assembly
A place of assembly is required for any mass outdoor public event. This means an event with over 1000 people for 2 hours or more. It may be any performance, exhibition, circus, festival, food festival, pageant, regatta, sports event, dance or publicly advertised lecture.
If you are planning to operate an event of that size and nature, or you are planning to lease a property as a place of assembly, you need to apply for a place of assembly licence.
You can apply for a licence by completing the application form (insert link).
For future information please refer to our events guide (insert link)
Some local mosquito species can transmit Ross River Virus (RRV), typically these are found in coastal areas. For future information on how to avoid contracting RRV please see the Department of Health’s website.
The Director of Public Health is responsible for issuing information on how to avoid contracting RRV if there is a high risk of infection over the mosquito season.
How to Live on Tank Water
If you live in an area and you have your own private drinking water supply, (this could be a rainwater tank connected to your roof), the below information will help to keep your domestic drinking water supply safe and healthy.
Roof collected water may falsely be perceived as fresh pure water. Whilst rain may not contain the same chemicals that river water or bore water can, it can easily become contaminated once rainwater is collected on the roof and distributed into the tank/s. Roof surfaces and guttering can easily become contaminated with animal faeces, leaves, dust and other debris. Regular cleaning is required to remove foreign bodies. In addition leaf guards can be placed over guttering and screens placed over inlets to the tank. Domestic water filtration devices are also used to improve water quality by removing suspended solids, some inorganics and micro-organisms. Filters are usually fitted to the pipe between the water tank and the house or free standing ’jug type’ filters can be used for treating. Water filters must be maintained in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. This may only involve replacing the filter cartridge.
When building a new house, doing extensions or purchasing a new water tank, it is highly recommended to install first flush diverters on the inlet to water tanks and/or on downpipes to divert ‘dirty’ water from roof and guttering when it first starts raining.
Flushing points (I.O’s) should be installed on all ‘charged’ water tanks.
Disinfection of Tank Water
Tank water may become contaminated with micro-organisms (bacteria, virus etc) that can cause gastroenteritis and other diseases. One option is to disinfect that water with chlorine. Other forms of disinfection include ultra violet light sterilisers and boiling the water for at least 3 minutes.
Boiling water is the most cost effective method of killing micro-organisms. After boiling put the water in a container, when it has cooled put the lid on, leave an air gap and then shake to ‘re-aerated’ the water. This doesn’t do anything for the water quality but will make the water more palatable to drink.
Two common forms of chlorine compounds can be used, those disinfectants that contain Sodium Hypochlorite (household bleach) or Calcium Hypochlorite (swimming pool chlorine powder). It is very important that Chlorine is added to the water at the correct dosage. Firstly, calculate the amount of water in the tank by using the following formula:
3.14 x radius2 x height of water in the tank x 1000
(the radius is half of the width of the tank)
Once you have calculated the volume of water in the tank then place 40 millilitres of Sodium Hypochlorite or 7 grams of Calcium Hypochlorite for each 1000 litres of water in the tank.
For example: if the tank dimensions are 5 metres wide, 3 metres high and there is 2.5 metres of water in the tank, the calculations would be as follows:
Volume of water in the tank is:
3.14 x (5 x ½)2 x 2.5 x 1000 (litres)
Volume = 49,062.5 (litres)
∴ 40 x 49,000 = 1960 mils of Sodium Hypochlorite
7 x 49,000 = 343 grams of Calcium Hypochlorite
Chlorination of tank water is not recommended for continual application. It is more important that the tank water doesn’t become contaminated by ensuring that the roof, guttering and tanks are regularly cleaned.
Tip devices (water diverters) can be fitted to downpipes. These discard the initial dirty water that forms when rain falls after long dry periods and washes away dust that has built up on the roof. This will ensure that a small amount of dirty water doesn’t contaminate the remaining water in the tank.
To prevent mosquitoes breeding in water tanks install a fine screen or leaf strainer on the inlet to the tank. The screen must be regularly checked and cleaned out to clear blockages.
For further information on rainwater tanks: Australian Government Department of Health
Recreational Water Quality
Water sampling of the recognised swimming beaches in our Municipality occurs regularly over the summer period. Testing from previous years shows that most of our recognised beaches are suitable for swimming.
The following swimming beaches are tested weekly over the summer period and if two consecutive samples exceed recommended levels, residents are advised not to swim at the beach until subsequent testing has demonstrated that the water is suitable for swimming. We also advise people to please avoid swimming for 24-48 hours after heavy rainfall and to always observe signage at the beach access points.
Please direct any complaints about recreational water quality to Council’s Environmental Health Officers on 03 6269 0000.
|Location||Tasmanian Recreational Water Guidelines classification||Comments|
|Connellys Beach||Good||Surface water run-off likely to impact on water quality|
|Primrose Beach||Good||Stormwater may impact on water quality after rainfall|
|Red Ochre Beach (South)||Good||Stormwater may impact on water quality after rainfall|
|Red Ochre Beach (North) aka Blue Lagoon||Good|
|Tigerhead Beach (Seventh Ave)||Good||Stormwater may impact on water quality after rainfall|
|Midway Point (below McKinly Street)||Moderate||Stormwater may impact on water quality after rainfall|
Public swimming pools and spa pools are regulated under the Recreational Water Quality Guidelines.
These guidelines require owners to:
- maintain a logbook that records the water quality information and the number of people using the pool each day;
- maintain records of microbiological water sample results;
- take water samples each month and submit them to the Public Health Laboratory for testing.
TasWater undertakes regular drinking water quality sampling of their serviced areas (Sorell & Midway Point). For further information please visit their website – TasWater
Private Drinking Water Suppliers
Business and organisations that supply water to the public for commercial, educational or health purposes may require registration as a private drinking water supplier.
Any person or business that supplies drinking water to the public in bulk via transportation in a water tank is required to be registered annually. The tank and equipment must comply with the Drinking Water Quality Guidelines 2015. For further information please contact our Environmental Health Team.