Environmental Health

Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. This definition excludes behaviour not related to environment, as well as behaviour related to the social and cultural environment, and genetics.

Air Quality

Air quality is something we often take for granted because, compared to other places in the world, our air is generally good. That is why, when we experience excessive smoke or detect an odour, it’s so noticeable. While we all have the potential to impact our neighbours from time to time, (e.g. smoke from a BBQ, odour from garden fertilizer), it is when excessive smoke or odours in the community occur that they can be a problem.  Health legislation is concerned with human health. From time to time, Health Services receive complaints from residents regarding dust settling on their cars or having to re-wash their laundry, which is hanging outdoors. Although frustrating, these are not health issues.

If you would like to make an enquiry or complaint about Air Quality please use the online Air Quality Web Form.

Air Quality Web Form


Pollution can take many forms and can negatively affect the air, soil and water quality. Examples of pollution include:

  • Spills contaminating soil or water;
  • Black / dark smoke;
  • Odours and fumes; and
  • Noise

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is the leading body managing environmental pollution in Western Australia.  The Town’s Health Services have restricted powers in relation to Noise, unauthorised discharges from small-medium enterprises and dark smoke from domestic chimneys.

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

If you would like to make an enquiry or complaint about Pollution please use the online Pollution Web Form.

Pollution Web Form

Water Sampling

In partnership with the Department of Health, the Town’s Health Services collect water samples from Sandy Beach Reserve and Point Reserve to test for bacteria and amoeba levels. These water samples are collected each year on a weekly basis, between November and April. There are a number of water bodies monitored within WA.  For an extensive list, refer to the Department of Health website.

Department of Health

The purpose of monitoring the water quality is to achieve the following:

  • make sure the water is safe to swim in and recreate;
  • classify water bodies to help you decide where you want to swim;
  • issue warnings during pollution events;
  • identify bacterial pollution sources;
  • look for long-term bacterial trends.

Bacteria in water can come from a number of sources including domestic animals, human effluent and wildlife.  Swimming and / or swallowing river water contaminated with high levels of bacteria, may cause illnesses such as gastroenteritis, skin irritations as well as respiratory, ear and eye infections. 

What are we looking for?


Water samples are analysed for Enterococci, which are commonly found in the stomach of warm-blooded animals and humans.   Although enterococci are not harmful, high levels can indicate the possible presence of harmful microorganisms including viruses and protozoa.

Water samples are also tested for the bacteria Escherichia Coli (E. Coli), which are a group of bacteria also found in the stomach of warm-blooded animals and humans.  These bacteria are a very good indicator of faecal contamination. 


Some water bodies are tested for amoebae – such as Naeglaria fowleri, which is responsible for the extremely rare but fatal disease amoebic meningoencephalitis (amoebic meningitis).

The bacterial water quality at each site is assessed and a “Grade” is then assigned to that site.  There are five possible grades that could be assigned to the site: very good, good, fair, poor or very poor.  These grades have been further categorised into three colours, green, amber or red.  Green represents the safer areas to swim, whilst red represents the areas of higher risk.

If you would like to report pollution to water please go to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation information (DWER) website or their online reporting form.

DWER Information Website 

DWER Online Reporting Form

If you would like to make an enquiry about Environmental Water Sampling use the online web form

Environmental Water Sampling Web Form