Air and water quality

Learn about using public pools, managing wastewater, recycling water and operating cooling and warm water systems, and get to know the rules around backyard burning.

Staying healthy at the pool

If you use a public pool or spa, there are a few simple things you can do to help keep the swimming water safe and clean for other users:

  • Shower and wash with soap before you swim
  • Don’t get in the pool if you have diarrhoea and wait another two weeks after symptoms subside before you get in
  • Don’t get in the pool if you feel nauseous
  • Put babies and toddlers in proper swimming nappies
  • If anyone has an accident in the pool, report it so that the operator can take action and treat the water

What rules must public pools and spas comply with?

If you are an operator of a public swimming pool and/or spa pool, you must tell us if:

  • You have constructed a new public pool or spa pool
  • The ownership or lease arrangements of your existing business have changed
  • Your business details have changed (for example, your ABN, contact details, address or email)

If you're not sure if you have to notify us about something, call our Environmental Health team on 8405 6600. You can also find more information for pool and spa businesses here.

Report a problem about a public pool or spa

If you attend a public swimming pool or spa pool in the City of PAE and are worried about the hygiene or water quality, you can report the problem on our website. This will go to one of our Environmental Health Officers to investigate.

Wastewater management and water recycling

Safely collecting, treating, disposing and reusing wastewater is vital for keeping the community healthy, as well as for protecting the environment.

Wastewater is governed by the South Australian Public Health Act 2011, the South Australian Public Health (Wastewater) Regulations 2013 and the On-site Wastewater Systems Code.

Onsite wastewater systems

If it’s not possible to connect to an SA Water sewer or Community Wastewater Management Scheme (CWMS), you’ll need to install an onsite wastewater system. These are subject to a wastewater works approval by the relevant authority.

Who is the relevant authority?
  • The City of PAE is the relevant authority for systems with a capacity of up to 40 Equivalent Persons (EP)
  • The South Australian Department for Health and Ageing (DHA) is the responsible authority for systems with a capacity greater than 40 EP
  • The DHA is also responsible for systems in areas of the state that aren’t under local government control
What are the fees for wastewater systems?
  • If the system capacity does not exceed 10 EP: $129
  • If the system capacity exceeds 10 EP: $129 + $28.25 for each additional 2 EP
  • Inspection fee: $143


Greywater results from the use of water in the laundry, kitchen, bath or shower (excluding the toilet). A significant proportion of the water we use in our homes is for washing clothes or ourselves. These activities produce a large amount of wastewater which, like sewage, is disposed of to the mains sewer or a septic tank via the normal household plumbing and drainage system.

In these times of increased awareness of the need to conserve water, many people are investigating ways to reuse greywater from their homes for domestic purposes such as garden watering.

We encourage the use of greywater

In existing buildings, and where site conditions allow, modifications may be made to retrofit an SA Health-approved greywater reuse system.

If you’d like to install or alter a greywater reuse system, you’ll need approval under the provisions of the South Australian Public Health (Wastewater) Regulations 2013. Note that you won’t be able to start work on the system until permission has been granted.

Here is a list of approved greywater products for marketing, sale and installation in South Australia.

Cooling and warm water systems

The City of PAE Guidelines for the Control of Legionella tell you how you must operate and maintain your high-risk manufactured water systems. This is in addition to:

Australian Standards can be purchased online at the Australian Standards website or locally at Standards and Technical Publications at 45D Sussex Terrace, Hawthorn.

The rules regulating high-risk manufactured water systems include:

  • All new high-risk manufactured water systems must be registered with the City of PAE within one month of commissioning, and positive Legionella counts must be reported to us within 24 hours
  • All existing high-risk manufactured water systems must be registered, and automatic biocide dosing devices must be fitted to each cooling water system
  • Drift eliminators must be fitted to each cooling water system and plans, manuals and up-to-date log books for each system must be kept on the premises in an accessible location

Registering your water system

If your business uses a high-risk manufactured water system, you must register the system with the City of PAE. You need to renew this registration every 12 months. If your business changes ownership or if you have made any significant modifications to any of the systems in the last 12 months, you must also let us know.

Significant modifications include:

  • Adding a new tower
  • Removing a tower
  • Significantly changing the location of a current tower

Backyard burning

It's important to keep South Australia’s air healthy and the community safe by burning responsibly.

Burning in the open is a common practice to reduce the risk of bushfires, manage agricultural land and dispose of agricultural and forestry waste. Open fires are also used to cook food and make hot drinks, as well as for recreational activities such as camp fires.

While activities such as burn-offs for bushfire reduction are absolutely necessary, smoke from these activities can impact on human health and the environment, and can also cause nuisance. Wood smoke from burning in the open also contributes to poor air quality.

Burning without a required permit is against the law and carries a fine of $300. This is under section 34 of the Environment Protection Act 1993, and will be enforced by the City of PAE’s Community Safety staff or SAPOL.

Victoria Road Air Quality Study

This study records and analyses pollution around Victoria Road and works out what we can do to keep people safe. You can find out more about the study from the Environmental Protection Agency.