Environmental Health

About 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.


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 (DWER) is the leading body managing environmental pollution in Western Australia.  To report a pollution matter directly to DWER, please use their online reporting form.

DWER Pollution Online Reporting Form


In Western Australian, noise is regulated by the Environmental Protection Act 1986, and the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 (Regulations).  The Regulations set allowable (assigned) noise levels permitted to be received at various types of premises (i.e., residential, commercial or industrial).   The Regulations also provide exemptions where noise emissions do not need to meet the assigned noise levels, subject to certain conditions.  These exemptions apply to musical instruments, construction site noise and the use of specified equipment such as lawn mowers and power tools.

There are some noise sources that the Town of Bassendean does not deal with, such as:

  • noise from traffic on roads, trains, vessels or aircraft noise.
  • antisocial behaviour – yelling, shouting or abusive language, late-night parties.


Information on who to report these matters to, is available on the Department of Water & Environmental Regulation website.


Unreasonable Noise

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, a person who emits or causes or allows noise to be emitted, which unreasonably interferes with the health, welfare, convenience, comfort or amenity of any person, commits an offence.  Noise is considered unreasonable if the allowable noise levels in the Regulations are exceeded, or if it is deemed by an Authorised Officer to interfere directly or indirectly with the health, welfare, convenience, or comfort of any person in any premises.

For the Town to determine whether the noise emission is unreasonable, the following information is required from the complainant:

  • The location and type of noise emission;
  • The frequency of the noise emission – how often it occurs (daily, weekly etc);
  • The duration of the noise emission (how long it goes for);
  • The magnitude of the noise emission (how loud it is);
  • The purpose for which the equipment is used; and
  • How the noise is impacting the complainant.


Typical noise sources that the Town of Bassendean Health Services may assist in investigating, include:

  • loud music;
  • practice of musical instruments;
  • lawn mowers, power tools and other devices;
  • air-conditioners, pool pumps, spas, heaters;
  • construction noise; and
  • bird noises and roosters.


Note: For dog barking complaints, please contact the Town of Bassendean Ranger Services on 9377 7480.

Music and Musical Instruments

Stereo Music

Loud music accounts for up to 40% of all noise enquiries received by the Town of Bassendean.

Radio and stereo music are required to comply with the allowable noise levels specified in the Regulations at all times, so that they do not unreasonably interfere with the health, comfort or convenience of the neighbours.  As a guide, music that is clearly audible at the property boundary, will likely exceed the allowable noise levels.  Music with a dominant bass component can be disturbing even when it doesn’t appear to be loud.

To reduce the risk of breaching the Regulations and also disturbing neighbours,

  • keep music volume low, ensuring it is not audible at your property boundaries
  • keep the bass component as low as possible
  • consider using headphones or ear pods
  • position speakers away from neighbours, and
  • keep your windows and doors closed.


Musical Instruments

The Regulations classify musical instruments such as guitars and drums, as specified equipment.  The playing of a single musical instrument on residential premises is permitted to exceed the allowable noise levels, provided the instrument is played in a reasonable manner and for only one (1) hour per day, between the hours of

  • 7:00am and 7:00pm Mondays to Saturdays;
  • 9:00am and 7:00pm on Sundays and public holidays.


Additional measures which can be taken to ensure musical instrument practice does not unreasonably interfere with neighbours include:

  • playing the instrument in a suitable room (a garden shed is not a suitable room)
  • in the case of electronically amplified instruments, maintain the volume at the lowest level possible
  • utilising sound off pads and cymbal silencers on drum kits.
  • musical instrument practice is not to be accompanied by recorded amplified music which is likely to exceed permitted noise levels.
  • If possible, speak with neighbours and come to an agreement regarding suitable practice days and times.


Note: Band practice or performances in residential areas are prohibited and an alternative location is to be used.

Party Noise

It’s reasonable to host the occasional party, however, it is also reasonable that your neighbours are not adversely impacted.  If you are considering entertaining outside, it may be worth trying these suggestions to avoid a strained relationship with your neighbours:

  • start your party earlier so that it can finish earlier.
  • avoid using speakers outside the house.
  • let your neighbours know about the party and the time you expect to finish.
  • adjust the volume control (especially the bass) to ensure music does not annoy your neighbours.
  • if possible, move your guests inside if the party is likely to finish late at night (after midnight) and close all windows and doors to contain the noise to your home.


Note: The Town of Bassendean is not available to respond to noisy parties or manage behavioural problems associated with private parties. To make a complaint about a party, please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or WA Police on 131 444.

Specified Equipment

Power Tools etc

The Regulations define specified equipment as any equipment that requires the constant attendance of an operator for its normal use, e.g., power tools, lawn mowers, blowers etc.  Equipment which can be turned on and left running, such as air conditioners, stereo systems and pool pumps, are not considered to be specified equipment.


Specified equipment is inherently noisy, and their use is allowed, provided the equipment is used in a reasonable manner, is in good working order and compatible with the work being undertaken.  Specified equipment can only be used for up to two (2) hours per day and between 7am and 7pm Mondays to Saturdays and 9am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays.


Noise emissions from the use of specified equipment outside of the above hours, or for longer than the two-hour period, must meet the allowable noise levels.  If you can hear the noise past your property boundaries, it is likely that the noise levels are being exceeded.


Fixed Equipment

Fixed equipment such as air conditioners and pool pumps, commonly create noise problems, particularly during the summer months as they are often left operating for long periods and overnight. 

When installing fixed equipment, it is important to consider whether their location is likely to impact neighbours.   Placing the units close to neighbouring houses is likely to create excessive noise.


When purchasing an air conditioner or a pool pump, it is best to ensure:

  • the quietest air conditioner or pump is purchased
  • the potential noise impacts to surrounding properties has been discussed with the installer prior to the air conditioner or pool pump being installed;
  • prior to installation, consideration is given to the proposed placement of the air conditioner or pool pump and how it might affect surrounding properties.

the external components of the air conditioner are positioned as far away from the closest neighbour as possible.

Construction Sites

Construction Noise

Noise from construction work is permitted between 7am and 7pm on Monday to Saturday provided that:

  • The equipment is the quietest reasonably available, and
  • The construction work is carried out in accordance with Australian Standard 2436 – 1981 Guide to Noise Control on Construction, Maintenance and Demolition Sites.


Whilst construction noise is exempt during the specified times, radio and music systems used on site, must comply with the allowable noise level.


Noise from construction work is not permitted on Sundays or public holidays without the prior approval of a Noise Management Plan.  Construction work that does not emit any noise, i.e., painting, may not need to be restricted to the above times.


Construction Noise – Out of Hours

Out of hours construction work is considered to be between the hours of 7:00pm and 7:00am, Monday to Saturday, and anytime on Sundays and public holidays. Out of hours construction work cannot be undertaken without an approved Noise Management Plan. 


A Noise Management Plan must include details of:

  1. The need for the construction work to be done out of hours.
  2. The types of activity that may be noisy.
  • Noise level predictions
  1. Proposed noise and vibration control measures
  2. Proposed method of noise and vibration monitoring
  3. Copy of notification letter to affected residents and businesses.
  • Complaints response procedure.


More information regarding Noise Management Plans, can be obtained by contacting the Town of Bassendean Health Services on 9377 8000.

Further Information

If you would like to make a noise enquiry or complaint in relation to  noise emissions that the Town of Bassendean is able to investigate, please use the Noise Online Web Form.


Town of Bassendean Noise information Sheet

An Installers Guide to Air Conditioner Noise

Antisocial Behaviour – Crime Stoppers

Department of Water & Environmental Regulations Fact Sheets and Guidelines

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. 

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.  Health legislation is concerned with human health.

The Town’s Health Services team has restricted powers in relation to noise, unauthorised discharges from small-medium enterprises and dark smoke from domestic chimneys.  For information about smoke from domestic chimneys, please refer to the Wood Smoke information sheet.

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

Environmental Enquiries Web Form

Environmental Waters Program

The Town’s Health Services team collect water samples from Sandy Beach Reserve, Point Reserve and Success Hill between November and April each year.  The water samples are assessed to see if the bacteria levels are within safe limits and that dangerous amoeba are not detected in the water.  This ensures that the water is safe for swimming and for other recreational activities. This program is done in partnership with the WA Department of Health. For more information regarding water sampling, please refer to the Town’s Environmental Waters Program Information Sheet.

If you would like to make an enquiry about Environmental Water Sampling use the online Environmental Enquiries Web Form.

Environmental Enquiries Web Form