Council partners with NSW Health to ensure compliance with the Public Health Act and Regulations. On this page find information on:
- Private Drinking Water Suppliers
- Skin Penetration Procedures
- Public Swimming Pools
- Cooling Towers
PRIVATE DRINKING WATER SUPPLIERS
Any business or facility that supplies people with drinking water from independent water supplies are required to comply with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. You are considered a private water supplier if you are not connected to a Council or Goldenfields supply line. Private water supply sources includes water from rainwater, rivers, creeks, bores and dams.
Operators of businesses or facilities that provide drinking water have a responsibility to ensure the water is safe to use. The Public Health Act 2010 and the Public Health Regulation 2012 now requires drinking water suppliers such as water utilities, private water suppliers, and water carters to develop and adhere to a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) and provide a copy of the program to their local Public Health Unit.
NSW Health has produced the Private Water Supply Guidelines https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/NSW-private-water-supply-guidelines.aspx to assist operators of facilities that rely on private water supplies to comply with the requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.
Private Drinking Water Suppliers must register with Council.
HAIRDRESSING, BEAUTY & SKIN PENETRATION BUSINESSES
Businesses and persons providing hairdressing, barber, beauty, body piercing and tattooing services are inspected by local Councils to ensure they operate in a hygienic manner and the risk of skin infections and blood-borne disease is reduced.
Registration – Businesses are required to register their business with Council, and need to update their details if they change. Please complete the attached form
Inspections and Fees – There is an annual registration and inspection fee which covers Council’s expenses to administer these requirements and undertake an inspection.
Routine inspections are normally booked with the business to ensure they are not in an appointment with a client. Follow-up inspections occur as necessary. Council may also conduct an inspection upon receipt of a complaint from a member of the public.
The routine inspection will involve the assessment of:
- Cleanliness of premises
- Fit-out and construction of premises
- Provision of facilities and equipment for cleaning, sterilising, hand washing, and storage
- Waste storage and disposal including sharps and contaminated waste
- Current procedures
- Hygiene standards and practices including cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising of equipment
- Records for waste disposal and autoclave if required.
If you have any questions please contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 1300 459 689 or visit the NSW Health website https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/skinpenetration/Pages/default.aspx
PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS & SPAS
The Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 controls the public health risk associated with public swimming and spa pools.
A public Swimming Pool is defined as;
A swimming pool or spa pool to which the public is admitted, whether free of charge, on payment of a fee or otherwise, including—
- a pool to which the public is admitted as an entitlement of membership of a club, or
- a pool provided at a workplace for the use of employees, or
- a pool provided at a hotel, motel or guest house or at holiday units, or similar facility, for the use of guests, or
- a pool provided at a school or hospital, or
- a pool situated at private residential premises, but only if that pool is used for commercial purposes, or
- any other pool or spa pool declared by the regulations to be a public swimming pool or spa pool,
but not including any pool or spa pool declared by the regulations not to be a public swimming pool or spa pool.
A spa pool includes any structure (other than a swimming pool) that—
(a) holds more than 680 litres of water, and
(b) is used or intended to be used for human bathing, and
(c) has facilities for injecting jets of water or air into the water.
All public swimming pools must be maintained in accordance with the standards detailed in Schedule 1 of the Public Health Regulation 2012. NSW Health has developed the Public Swimming Pool & Spa Pool Requirements https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/publicpools/Pages/public-pool-and-spa-requirements.aspx ) brochure to assist operators in understanding the requirements, and have additional resources on their website at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/publicpools/Pages/default.aspx
All Public Swimming Pools and Spas must register with Council.
In addition, it is also a requirement that all swimming pools must be registered on the NSW Government Swimming Pool Register.
COOLING TOWERS & WARM WATER SYSTEMS
Cooling towers and warm water systems, are regulated by the Public Health Act and must be managed safely in order to prevent the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria. Infection may cause Legionnaires’ disease, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. The Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 define the roles and responsibilities for managing cooling towers and other regulated systems.
Under the Public Health Regulation 2012 building owners and occupiers of premises that contain a water cooling system must ensure that:
- A competent person (defined in Public Health Regulation 2012) must undertake a risk assessment of the cooling water system and document it in a risk management plan (RMP), at least every 5 years (more frequently for higher risk systems).
- A competent person prepares a certificate confirming the RMP has been completed. The RMP must be submitted to the Council within 7 days of completing the risk assessment.
- Compliance with the risk management plan and Public Health Regulation 2012 must be independently audited and documented in an audit certificate. The certificate must be submitted to the Council every year.
- Monthly sampling and testing of the system for Legionella and heterotrophic colony count must be undertaken.
- High test results for Legionella (≥1000 cfu/mL) and heterotrophic colony count (≥5,000,000 cfu/mL) must be reported to the Council within 24 hours of receiving the results.
- Unique identification numbers for cooling towers must be displayed on all cooling towers. The Council allocates the unique identification numbers.
Risk Management Plans (RMP), Audit Reports and Reportable Test Results
Since August 2018 NSW Health has required their approved forms be used for the submission of risk management plans, audit reports and reportable test results for cooling water systems. NSW Health also requires these forms, upon completion, be lodged with Council. Download the NSW Health approved forms https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/legionellacontrol/Pages/legionella-protocols.aspx)
The owner/occupier of a premises where a regulated water system is installed must also:
- Register their system with Council using the Registration form
- Any changes to the owner, the occupier, emergency contact and changes to the regulated system must be notified to Council via the registration form
- Install, operate and maintain the systems and records in accordance with the Public Health Act 2010, Public Health Regulation 2012, Public Health Amendment (Legionella Control) Regulation 2018 and Australian Standard 3666 series.
What are Council’s responsibilities?
Local councils are required to maintain an accurate register of cooling towers and warm-water systems installed on premises in their area.
Council must provide unique identification numbers for individual cooling towers when a notification form for a new cooling tower is received and are responsible for receiving and maintaining cooling tower documentation.
The occupier of a cooling tower must submit certificates of risk management completion, cooling tower audit reports, notification of high levels of legionella and heterotrophic colony count and taking appropriate action.
Environmental Health Officers may conduct an audit of warm water systems and cooling towers to ensure the maintenance of systems comply with the Public Health Act 2010 and the Public Health Regulation 2012.
For practical guidance on the legal requirements relating to legionella control in cooling water systems, please refer to the NSW Guidelines for Legionella Control in Cooling Water Systems found on the NSW Health website. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/legionellacontrol/Pages/legionella-guidelines.aspx