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Below you'll find a list of some of the most common issues affecting members of the public .
If you still can't find what you're looking for, please call us on (08) 8204 2004, or try the relevant section of this website.
Domestic air conditioner noise pollution
If air conditioner noise is over 45 dB it can only be operated between 7 am and 10 pm. The sound made by someone speaking is the same as 45 dB.
If you find the noise annoying, the best course of action is to discuss it with your neighbour and let them know that their air conditioner noise is disturbing your sleep, etc. If you would like to report the noise pollution, the EPA is able to send out a letter and some information to both parties to help them resolve the issue.
A free mediation service is available that can be of assistance in resolving neighborhood noise issues. This approach also has the benefit of avoiding the costly and adversarial legal process. For further information, contact the Community Mediation Services on (08) 8384 5222.
The EPA prefers that you seek mediation with your neighbour in the first instance. If the mediation process does not result in a satisfactory outcome, the EPA will able to provide further assistance. Before this can happen, you must obtain a letter from Community Mediation Services confirming that an approach was made to the service regarding mediation as an option to resolve the issue.
Noise meters readings would not be considered legal as it needs to be operated by someone who is qualified, either an authorised officer or an acoustic consultant. These readings can only be used as a guide during mediation.
Noisy construction activities by a commercial builder should be limited to the following times:
Monday to Saturday, 7 am to 7 pm
However, if a resident is completing their own home renovations, activity time should be limited to the following times:
Monday to Saturday, 8 am to 8 pm
Sunday, 9 am to 8 pm
Although some construction activities are inherently noisy, the impact can be minimised by good work practices. Builders must take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the impact upon neighbours. If the forcecast temperature is for 35 degrees or above, the pouring of concreting may be done prior to 7 am.
If you have an issue with construction noise , first approach the builder or site manager in a friendly manner and try to resolve the issue.
If that fails, contact your local council. Please only contact the EPA if further assistance is required.
Where can I dispose of old paint/fluorescent light globes/hazardous household chemicals?
Householders and farmers can dispose all of these at the Hazardous Household Waste Depot.
Where can I dispose of batteries?
- Rechargeable batteries Contact your waste disposal company. Business waste is not accepted at the Hazardous Household Waste Depot.
- Normal batteries (dry cell, alkaline, non re-chargeable) can be disposed of in normal rubbish collection.
- Rechargeable batteries (nickel/cadmium, mercury, lithium, hearing aid, watch, camera, little button batteries) must be disposed of at the Hazardous Household Waste Depot.
- Car batteries (lead acid batteries, lead acid gel) can be disposed of at local metal recyclers, battery retailers, scrap yards, bottle/can depots or Hazardous Household Waste Depot.
- Mobile phone batteries can be disposed of at most mobile phone retail outlets or the Hazardous Household Waste Depot.
I am renovating my house – what do I need to look out for?
Asbestos was a popular construction material in homes built between 1940 and the mid-1980s. It was extensively used for lining wet areas (bathrooms, toilets and laundry rooms).
Some linoleum manufacturers used asbestos as a filler. It can also be found in old boilers, fires, and lagging around hot water pipes and tanks.
Other concerns to be taken into account when working with old houses are lead-based paint and the historical use of pesticides for white ant treatment.
Home renovators need to be extra careful. If you're thinking of renovating an old property, you should seek advice from councils and other building advisory organisations before commencing any work to determine the potential risk of the materials listed on the property.
Information about asbestos and home renovating is available from SafeWork SA. Their free publication Asbestos and the Home Renovator is available at their bookshop located at Ground floor, State Administration Centre, 200 Victoria Square, Adelaide, (08) 8204 8881/2 .
How do I test for asbestos?
Check under 'Asbestos removal and/or treatment' in the Yellow Pages for companies that will test for asbestos.
What is the difference between friable and non-friable asbestos?
Visit our asbestos section for all the information you need.
Where can I report a polluting vehicle?
At present SA Police are authorised under the Road Traffic Act 1961 to observe and report vehicles for alleged breaches of the '10-second rule'. The SA Police use this rule as a basis for issuing defect notices on the spot. Contact SAPOL Traffic Watch on 131 444.
Are microwave ovens/cordless phones/other home appliances 'safe'?
See our radiation facts section for information on the difference between ionising and non-ionising radiation.
There is no requirement for microwave ovens to be leak tested at regular intervals. There are some scams that imply leak tests need to be conducted at regular intervals.
I have found or come into contact with some material that could be radioactive. What do I do?
Contact us immediately on (08) 8204 2004 and our staff can assist you.
How can I find out if my current or prospective property is contaminated?
You can ask the agent/broker to have a look at the Form 1/Section 7 statement or enquire direct to the EPA in writing, providing Certificate of Title details.
The cost is $15 per current title.
- I'm looking for information on a property – what information does the EPA provide?
- How do I know if the EPA has information about a property?
Can I get a refund on empty containers I collect outside of South Australia?
No, the deposit is only paid on beverages sold in South Australia. The refund marking states '10c refund at collection depots when sold in SA'.
It is now an offence to claim a refund on containers sold outside of SA and consumers can expect to face fines of $30,000 for breaking the law.
The legislation also gives collection depots the right to request a declaration from the person presenting containers for refund to ensure the containers were purchased in SA.
Depots may refuse to accept containers if they believe the containers were not purchased in SA or if the person returning the containers refuses to complete the declaration.
Why is the EPA telling shack-owners they can not use sand to build banks and beaches on the River Murray?
Putting beach and other types of sand into the waterways for boat ramps, landscaping, small beaches or for water edge grasses pollute the river system. Dumping sand is not natural to the ecosystem, and damages the natural state of the waterways.
Wind, waves and water traffic quickly moves the sand from where it is placed and redistributes the sand through the river system. It then creates uncharted sand bars and alters berthing depths causing navigation and boating hazards. Sand can block irrigation channels and the main water supply intakes. It also affects the breeding sites for fish, worms and other river species that rely on natural, healthy riverbeds for their survival.
If you want to create easier water access, we recommend the use of jetties, pontoons and approved beach building materials. For ideas, specific information and development approvals, contact your local council.
Putting sand in the River Murray and Lower Lakes is illegal and strong penalties apply. See our water quality section for more information.
Last modified: 10/01/2013 08:17 am