Infectious disease control

1.Overview

The Shire’s Environmental Health Team provides advice and investigates cases and outbreaks of infectious disease through inspections, sampling and questionnaires.

For advice concerning particular infectious diseases, it is suggested that you access the Victorian Government Guidelines for the Control of Infectious Diseases “Blue Book” http://ideas.health.vic.gov.au/bluebook.asp

2.Public Swimming Pools

The Shire monitors public swimming pools and spa pools to ensure they are free from disease-causing organisms and bacteria, and comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009. Environmental health officers undertake chemical analysis of the water in all public swimming pools and spa pools to ensure they are maintained in accordance with water quality standards. They also investigate any complaints regarding water quality in public swimming pools and spas.

The Department of Health has developed guidelines on water quality for public pools, swimming pools and spas which include information on the following topics and can be found on the Victorian State Government website http://health.vic.gov.au/environment/water/swimming.htm

  • Cryptosporidium and Cryptosporidiosis – Information for Pool Managers
  • Cleaning of Spa Baths
  • Pool Operators Handbook
  • Faecal Policy
  • Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/

3.Private Water Tank Supplies for Residents

If you live in a rural or semi-rural area, it is likely that the water you drink is obtained from private water tanks or bores. This includes residential areas of Red Hill, Red Hill South and Arthurs Seat which have no access to mains water. This is also the case for any accommodation and food businesses in these areas. It is important that water supplies in these areas are maintained regularly and not contaminated.

Contaminated water can be responsible for major outbreaks of severe gastric illness such as gastroenteritis and infections caused by Cryptosporidium and Giardia organisms. These illnesses are particularly dangerous to the very young, the elderly and people with poor immune systems.

The Department of Health has developed guidelines to protect the quality of water in private water tanks. A copy of these guidelines can be found at https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/water/private-drinking-water-supplies

4.Private Water Tank Supplies for Businesses

If you provide food or accommodation to the public and don’t have access to mains water, it is important that you make it known that you provide safe water to customers. This water must comply with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/eh52

The Department of Health provides guidelines on non-potable water in food businesses which should be followed to protect the safety of water provided to your customers. These guidelines can be obtained from the website http://www.health.vic.gov.au/foodsafety/regulatory_info/issues.htm

If you suspect that your water supply is contaminated, or would like to set up a sampling program, samples can be analysed at registered laboratories. A number of analysts can be found in the Yellow Pages under Public Analysts. If you are unsure, contact the Shire’s Environmental Health Team on 5950 1050.