Environmental Health Information

Council’s Environmental Health Officer undertakes a range of legislative functions that are designed to protect and maintain public and environmental health standards within the Glenelg Shire Council.

Mosquito Management

More than 275 species of mosquitoes are found in Australia. Fortunately, only a few species bite humans, and fewer still are vectors of human diseases.

In Victoria, mosquito-borne diseases include:

Other mosquito-borne diseases reported in Victoria (such as dengue fever) have been acquired interstate or overseas.

Your only protection against mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry is to avoid mosquito bites.  

  • Mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing. Cover up - wear long, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Use mosquito repellents containing Picardin or DEET on all exposed skin.
  • Limit outdoor activity if lots of mosquitoes are about.
  • Remove stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed around your home or campsite.
  • On holidays make sure your accommodation is fitted with mosquito netting or screens.
  • Use ’knockdown’ fly spray, mosquito coils or plug-in repellent where you gather to sit or eat outdoors.
  • Don’t forget the kids – always check the insect repellent label. On babies, you might need to spray or rub repellent on their clothes instead of their skin. Avoid applying repellent to the hands of babies or young children.

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases still occur frequently throughout the world and constant vigilance is required to prevent the reappearance of infectious diseases.

Health authorities depend on medical practitioners for information on the incidence of infectious diseases and notification is vital in efforts to prevent or control the spread of infection. The Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations require Medical Practitioners to notify the State Government whenever cases of certain Notifiable Diseases are confirmed. This enables the Department of Health to ensure that the sources of the disease and possible contacts that may be at risk are properly investigated.

In some instances, Council’s Environmental Health Team are involved in the investigations, particularly when a food-borne disease is involved or the patient is a food handler.

The Blue Book: Guidelines for the Control of Infectious Diseases, helps assist in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. This book provides information on all the diseases that are notifiable in Victoria. This book is not intended to replace professional advice. If you believe you have an infectious disease, please visit your local General Practitioner as soon as possible.

The School Exclusion Table lists the minimum time that children should be excluded from school and day care centres for particular diseases or conditions


Private Drinking Water

If you live in rural Victoria you may not have access to a mains reticulated water supply. You may rely on a private drinking water supply such as rainwater or bore water.

Private drinking water supplies, such as rainwater, are generally reliable and safe for drinking, but water quality can be variable. Outbreaks of gastroenteritis have occurred in Victoria as a result of people drinking contaminated water. You can minimise the risks and keep your water supply safe if you:

  • Make sure your drinking water comes from a good quality source
  • Regularly maintain your water supply system
  • Where required, use the right treatment steps


What do I do if I suspect I have a problem with drinking water quality from a rainwater tank?

How do I disinfect the water?

There are a range of options available which include UV irradiation, boiling and disinfection with chlorine. For domestic premises, boiling or disinfection are the two most common methods adopted.

Boiling water will kill pathogens (kettles with an automatic shut off are suitable for this purpose). Once boiled, the water can be cooled and stored prior to use.

To achieve effective disinfection, it is necessary to add sufficient chlorine to provide a free chlorine residual of >0.5mg/l (after a contact time of 30minutes). This can be measured using a swimming pool test kit. As a general rule, to achieve the >0.5mg/l free chlorine residual, add 40ml of liquid sodium hypochlorite (12.5% available chlorine) per 1000ml of water or 7g of granular calcium hypochlorite (75% available chlorine) per 1000ml.
Both sodium and calcium hypochlorite can be purchased from local pool suppliers, supermarkets and hardware stores.

How do I determine the size of my tank?

To calculate the volume of a rectangular tank, use the following formula:
Volume (in litres) = depth (cm) x width (cm) x length (cm) divided by 1000

If your tank is a cylinder you will need to know the Height and the Radius to calculate the volume using the formula V = πr2h where 1 cubic metre will equal 1000 litres. 

Water Quality Testing

Regular microbial quality testing is not normally required for a domestic premises and generally would only be undertaken as part of an illness investigation. If microbial analysis is to be undertaken, a sterile100ml plastic or glass container can be used. The sample must be stored between 1 – 4C and analysis undertaken within 24 hours.


Disposal of Sharps

It is vital that all medical waste is discarded in a correct and safe manner. This will prevent any injury towards you, and also to other members of the community.

Needles and syringes are to be put into approved sharps containers only and not into general waste bins. You can collect free sharps containers from the Glenelg Shire Council Offices, or alternatively, you can use one of the many sharps containers at the many of Council's amenity buildings.

Head Lice

Head lice can affect infants, adolescents and adults. Head lice can be present on the scalp and in hair for weeks or even months before they are detected. Not all head lice cause an itch.

If a school aged child does have head lice, they should be excluded from school and readmitted following appropriate treatment. As a parent you are responsible for checking your child’s hair regularly for head lice, and if lice are found, they must be treated effectively.

Head lice are easier to combat with a community approach. If you find head lice in your family, please tell anyone who may have come into contact with that family member, such as their friends and/or notifying the school. This gives people outside of your home the opportunity to stop the spread of head lice in their homes.

Please read the Department of Human Services fact sheets on Head Lice Management Guidelines(PDF, 53KB) and Treating and Controlling Head Lice(PDF, 147KB).

Influenza Pandemic

The Emergency Management Act 1986 requires the Glenelg Shire Council to develop a municipal emergency management plan which will assist the community in the prevention, response and recovery functions that are associated with an emergency event.

The Human Influenza Pandemic Plan was adopted by Council in June 2009 and is a sub plan of Council’s existing Municipal Emergency Management Plan.

Council will closely follow the determinations made by Victoria's Chief Health Officer and implement the directives as issued at the time to ensure the impact on our community is reduced where ever possible.