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Public and Aboriginal Health Division
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Please note the article circulated about the Play it Food Safe campaign was an initiative of the City of Kwinana. This has been corrected in the article below. 
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH e-NEWS
Produced by the Environmental Health Directorate (EHD)
November 2020
UPDATES
 
Stakeholder engagement survey results
Findings from the Stakeholder Engagement Survey targeting the local government environmental health workforce finished in March 2020, just prior to COVID-19. The results have now been analysed, and provide ideas for initiatives to improve the services of the Environmental Health Directorate. Several communication strategies are now in development and will be communicated over the coming months. Read the survey findings here
High Risk COVID Event Plans
EHOs are reminded that high risk COVID Event Plans must be submitted to the Department a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the event being held in order to be assessed. COVID Event Plans are to be submitted by the EHO, on behalf of the event organiser. Please read the submission requirements for high risk Plans and the 6 November update about certain high risk events. All other events information is available on the events registration webpage
Safe use and storage of alcohol based hand wash
A new factsheet has been released to remind people about the safe use and storage of alcohol based hand wash, which should only be used when soap and water isn't' available. Sanitisers should be stored out of reach of children, and must be stored in temperatures below 25 degrees. So no hot cars. Hand sanitiser is also flammable and should not be stored near heat sources. Promotion of this information is encouraged. Learn more here.
Things to remember when applying the Government Sewerage Policy
The Government Sewerage Policy (2019) (GSP) guides future planning, subdivision and development in relation to the disposal of sewage in WA. The GSP requires all new subdivision and development to be connected to reticulated sewerage where available or considered necessary on health, environment or planning grounds. However, the GSP also provides detailed site requirements for on-site sewage treatment and disposal where reticulated sewerage cannot be provided. The Department of Health has outlined the 'things to remember when applying the GSP'. Read more here.
What's the difference between an STS and an AWTS?
Secondary treatment systems (STS) produce treated effluent of secondary standard, must be certified to the latest Australian Standard AS 1546.3:2017, and approved by the WA Chief Health Officer. Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS) uses the processes of aeration followed by clarification to achieve biological treatment of wastewater, are certified to the previous Australian Standard AS 1546.3:2008, and must be approved by the WA Chief Health Officer. In some instances the Government Sewerage Policy 2019 requires installation of STS and not AWTS. All new STS and AWTS systems without a current certification are required to be certified to AS 1546.3:2017. For more details refer to the list of approved systems and information about STS and AWTS
STS and AWTS after periods of non-use
Many Secondary Treatment Systems (STS) and Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS) perform sufficiently under constant wastewater flow conditions but are not designed for sharp decreases or sudden shock loads. Wastewater flow variations can upset the system and set the system ‘off track’, taking time to return to normal. Many systems have slow start-up times and require several months to grow sufficient populations of microorganisms that provide wastewater treatment. During this time, sewage like smell might be experienced as partially treated effluent could be produced and sent to the land application area. In order to avoid that, it is recommended to contact an authorised service technician to inspect the STS and AWTS before starting after periods of non-use.
Lodging houses consultation summary
In January 2020 the discussion paper Managing lodging house health risks in WA was released for a period of 13 weeks for comment. A total of 44 responses were received. There was strong support (89%) for the ongoing management of lodging houses under the Public Health Act and overall support for the proposals outlined in the discussion paper. The EHD has analysed the responses and proposed their adoption or modification where appropriate. Read the summary paper here.
Mosquito management course
Expressions of interest are being sought from individuals interested in attending a mosquito management training course in Broome (24 - 26 March 2021). Please register your interest with Medical Entomology.
Ross River virus ALERT
Widespread RRV activity continues across the South West of WA. This activity now extends along the coastal Mid West and Gascoyne regions, between Jurien Bay and Denham. With a La Nina event expected to influence climate over the next 3 months and the number of RRV disease cases rising, a media statement has been issued.
Food webpages under construction
The EHD is working diligently behind the scenes to update food related webpages on the Department of Health website, with the aim to design targeted pages for EH practitioners or the food industry. This will be a gradual process with work taking place over the next 6 months. We hope you can be patient during construction. Although we have a good idea on what needs updating send any ideas to EH Stakeholder Engagement. Page updates will be communicated regularly in the e-News. 
Food safety week 2020 resources announced
Australian Food Safety Week 2020 will be held from 14 to 21 November 2020. The theme will be ‘Food Safety – it’s in your hands’ where we will be building upon the good behaviour established during the COVID-19 pandemic so we can continue to reduce the amount of foodborne disease. Example media releases, posters and social media banners are available. Find out more.
Water document updates
A range of publications on wastewater and aquatic facilities have been updated. Refer to:
2019-20 Public Health Act optional reporting 
The EHD has launched the 2019-20 Public Health Act 2016 Local Government Optional Reporting process. Local government CEOs have recently been issued a letter from the Executive Director Environmental Health, seeking support for the initiative. Local governments are strongly encouraged to participate by completing the online submission form by 11 December 2020. Read the submission page for more details. Feedback on the survey should be emailed to Public Health Act.
New local government performance reporting page
We listened, and combined the Food Act and Public Health Act reporting requirements onto the one page, Annual performance reporting for local government enforcement agencies. A guideline to support local government officers responsible for completing the annual performance reports is currently in development and is anticipated for release prior to the 2020-21 reporting period. The 2019-2020 summary performance reports will be available over the coming months. Any feedback on this page or the reporting process should be emailed to Food Safety.
Abstract submission for the EHA conference due
Individuals or organisations interested in submitting a paper or presenting a workshop at the 74th EHA (WA) State Conference to be held from 24 to 26 February can submit their proposal online by the deadline, 20 November 2020. Refer the the Environmental Health Australia WA website for more information. 
Local Government Environmental Health Initiatives

Promoting local government environmental health initiatives across WA. 
Promoting Play it Food Safe in Kwinana
The City of Kwinana has jumped into action to support the promotion of the Play it Food Safe campaign, creating a pop-up stall at a local shopping centre. The posters and flyers were on display, along with other interactive items to help promote the food safety messages. View the photos of the display, photo one and photo two
Harvey Ross River video warning
Check out the Shire of Harvey's recent video reminding residents and travellers in the South West of WA, including the Peel region, to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites over the coming months. View the video here. The Shire of Harvey's YouTube page has a number of educational videos on mosquito management worth watching; including aerial treatment, mosquito treatment and Leschenault wetlands videos. 
City of Mandurah's public health plan
The City of Mandurah has released their Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2020-2023, that aims to enhance the health, wellbeing and safety of all Mandurah residents. A range of tools are avaiable online to support the development of public health plans. Local governments are encouraged to partner with their Health Service Provider (North, South or East Metropolitan Health Service) or WA Country Health Services when initiating the development of a plan. Refer to the public health planning webpage for more information. 
We need your help to identify environmental health initiatives and examples of case studies, consumer awareness and surveillance programs happening across WA local governments. Email EH Stakeholder Engagement with information on yours or another local governments projects worthy of promoting in the e-News.
CONSULTATION

Consultation will open for the following discussion paper over the coming months. 
Coming soon - Wastewater regulation review 
A few delays have been experienced with the release of the wastewater management discussion paper. Once published the paper will be released for a 3 month consultation process (with additional time provided to take into consideration overlaps with key holiday periods).
Contact us

The Environmental Health Directorate can be contacted on (08) 9222 2000 or ehinfo@health.wa.gov.au 
Order publications online
A selection of hard copy Environmental Health Directorate resources can be ordered online using the Department of Health’s
online publication ordering system. Create an account and enter the search category "environmental health".
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Phone: (08) 9222 2000
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Perth Business Centre WA 6849
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Environmental Health Directorate, Department of Health WA · PO BOx 8172 · Perth Business Centre, WA 6849 · Australia