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Public Health

Rats & Vermin

Rats and vermin are very adaptable pests. They are not fussy eaters and can make themselves at home in houses, sheds, garages and gardens. They are not only smelly and destructive, but can pose a risk to human health.

They will eat rubbish, pet food, food scraps in uncovered bins and compost heaps, fallen fruit and nuts, bird seeds and dog droppings.

Rats and vermin can transmit diseases through contaminating food and water with their hair and waste.

The control and management of rats and vermin is the responsibility of each property owner.

In the event that you cannot adequately control rats and vermin on your property, it is recommended that you contact a professional pest contractor or service provider.

For more information on identifying and controlling the breeding of vermin on your property, please refer to the fact sheet Rats and Vermin Control(160 kb)


Keeping Fowls  "Fowls" include hens, roosters and chickens

Residents who wish to keep fowls on their property may do so within the Councils standards and guidelines.

There are minimum standards for the shelter/housing of fowls including how far away such a shelter should be from fences, trees, roads, and buildings, construction materials and requirements to maintain fowl shelters in good repair, clean and sanitary. 

Fowl shelters must be at the rear of the property.

The attached information sheet outlines these details and further information regarding noise complaints, fowl waste management, and fly and vermin control.  Keeping Fowls Guideline(609 kb)


Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes are a natural part of our environment. They are a nuisance that can never be entirely eradicated and at best their numbers can be controlled through careful maintenance.

Quick Facts

  • Mosquitoes breed in calm water. One small pool of water may produce thousands of mosquitoes each week.

  • Only female mosquitoes bite. They bite to get your blood to be able to produce eggs and breed.

  • Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as Ross River Virus or Barmah Forest virus infections.

Are you breeding your own mosquitoes?

You can start to control the breeding of mosquitoes in your own backyard by recognising and controlling breeding sites. To do this, for example:

  • Throw away any unwanted containers which hold water (eg. old tyres, drums, pot plant bases etc).

  • Seal or cover all openings in rainwater tanks to stop mosquitoes from getting in.

  • Make sure roof gutters are not holding water. Clean gutters out regularly.

  • Continuously filter and chlorinate swimming pool water. Unchlorinated pools allow breeding.

  • Empty pot plant drip trays once a week or fill with sand.

Self Protection

  • Check that fly screens around the home are fitted appropriately and do not have large holes.

  • Avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

  • When you are outside and mosquitoes are present, wear light coloured, loose long sleeved shirts and long, loose pants and apply an insect repellent.

  • A tropical strength insect repellent is the most effective protection for uncovered skin. Tropical strength repellents contain a chemical barrier which blocks the sensors of mosquitoes. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using any type of insect repellent.

Mosquito coils and citronella candles are also effective for discouraging unwelcome mosquito visitors at BBQ's or other outdoor activities.


Infectious disease

Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by the spread of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites) or prions to humans from other humans, animals or the environment, including food and water.

The Communicable Disease Control Branch of the South Australia Department of Health, has produced a book that provides a basic understanding of the ways infectious diseases can spread and to provide steps to prevent the spread of these diseases in the home and also in the community.


Insanitary Property

Under the Public and Environmental Health Act 1987 a premise is considered insanitary if it gives rise to a risk to health, the premises is so filthy or neglected that there is a risk of infestation by rodents or other pests; the condition of the premises is causing a justified offence to the owner of any nearby property or there is offensive material or odours emitted from the premises. 

Depending on the nature of the concern, whether it is regarding odour, vermin activity, accumulated rubbish, un-kept animals, poultry keeping or the absence of sanitary facilities, an investigation may be carried out accordingly.


Rainwater Tanks

Rainwater can safely be used for drinking, laundry, flushing toilets and watering gardens provided rainwater tanks are installed and plumbed in accordance with set standards and some simple maintenance is performed by home owners.

Rainwater for Drinking

The general public perception is that rainwater is safe to drink but collecting a good, clean supply depends on "low maintenance — not no maintenance". In most areas of Australia, the risk of illness arising from consumption is low, providing it is visually clear, has little taste or smell and, importantly, the storage and collection of rainwater is via a well maintained tank and roof catchment system.

However, contaminants such as animal droppings on roofs and in gutters, dead animals, industrial and other environmental pollutants, degraded roofing materials, lead-based paints and sediments all need to be managed accordingly.

There are state standards that apply to rainwater tanks in regards to the minimum holding requirements, roof area to be captured and protections to water quality, as well as how plumbed-in tanks are to be installed.

For More Information:

Rainwater Fact Sheet(906 kb)

Guidance on Rainwater Tanks(980 kb)


Swimming Pool & Spa Safety: Healthy Water

Swimming pools and spas require regular maintenance and water treatment to avoid becoming a breeding place for harmful bacteria and other organisms which may cause serious illnesses. Appropriate chemicals and good management of the disinfection, filtration and recirculation system will keep the pool water in a clean, safe and healthy condition.

Health SA provides these following guidelines:

Domestic Swimming Pool Care(989 kb)

Private Spa Maintenance(990 kb)


Swimming Pool & Spa Safety: Child-Proofing

All new swimming pools require development approval from the Roxby Council.

As part of the approval process, owners of private pools must ensure they are safe for children. New guidelines that came into effect as of December 2010, specify that any person applying for building rules consent from this date, will not be able to use child-resistant doors as part of a required child-safety barrier for an outdoor swimming pool. They will be required to have a fence to isolate the swimming pool from the house.

Drowning is the biggest cause of accidental death for young children and most occur in private backyard swimming pools. You can reduce the risk of such an accident occurring in your swimming pool by making sure that your pool is adequately fenced and young children are supervised at all times.

Pool Safety(493 kb)