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Noise is generally accepted as being any sound that a person doesn’t want hear, with the result that it becomes a nuisance to an individual.

The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 (the Act) formalises the role of Local Government in managing local nuisance issues to provide consistency of services in relation to littering and activities that cause nuisance at a local level, such as noise, smoke, odour and dust.

If you are having difficulties with any of the issues on this page, please contact council to assist and asses the situation.

Noise

Local noise nuisance can originate from a number of different residential, commercial or industrial sources such as:

  • construction or demolition works.
  • air conditioning units.
  • pool pumps, spas and water feature.
  • refrigeration equipment.
  • power tools and other machinery (mowers, power tools, leaf blowers, compressors, impacting tools, mulchers).
  • rubbish collection, street and vegetation maintenance.
Noise on domestic premises

In the case of fixed machine noise (e.g. air conditioner, pool pump) generated on domestic premises, that the noise has traveled from the domestic premises to a habitable room, or an outdoor courtyard or entertainment area, on neighbouring premises; or

In the case of noise (other than fixed machine noise generated on domestic premises), that the noise has traveled from the domestic premises to neighbouring premises between the hours of:

  • 8pm and midnight on any day; or
  • Midnight and 9am on Sunday; or
  • Midnight and 8am on any other day.
Construction noise

In the case of construction noise, that the noise has travelled from the location of the construction activity to neighbouring premises:

  • On any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • After 7pm or before 7am on any other day.
Waste collection noise

In the case of waste collection noise, that the noise has traveled from the place at which it was generated to neighbouring premises:

  • Before 9am or after 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • After 7pm or before 7am on any other day.
Street or tree maintenance machine noise

In the case of noise from a street or tree maintenance machine being used in a public place, that the noise has travelled from the public place to neighbouring premises:

  • Before 9am or after 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • After 7pm or before 7am on any other day.

In all cases, it must be taken in to account if the level, nature or extent of the noise (including its volume, pitch, vibrational frequency, prevalence or frequency of occurrence) is such as to constitute an unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of the neighbouring premises by persons occupying those premises.

In the first instance a person should try and discuss concerns with the people (e.g. neighbours or business) from where the nuisance is emanating from, as they may not be aware that they are causing a nuisance. Council will only become involved if an issue within the community cannot be resolved between the neighbours, or if the nuisance is a broad-scale issue involving multiple parties. We might require you to keep a "noise diary" for the purpose of developing a full and accurate recorded history.

Odours

Odours can emanate from a range of domestic and commercial/industrial sources.

Domestic sources of odours include:

  • insanitary conditions
  • dirty or poorly maintained rubbish bins and waste receptacles
  • uncovered compost heaps
  • rotting vegetation or food scraps (particularly sea-food)
  • storage of petrochemicals (oils, degreasers, kerosene)

Smoke

Excess smoke can increase the levels of air pollution and lead to poor air quality.

Smoke disturbance can include:

  • wood heaters
  • backyard burning
  • combustion heaters
  • extraction units

PLEASE NOTE: If you live INSIDE metropolitan Adelaide and townships you can only burn when it is for:

  • preparation of food or beverages where the size of the fire and fuel are appropriate
    for that purpose
  • heating an outdoor area using a brazier, chiminea or fire pit – charcoal only

Tips to avoid excessive wood heater smoke:

  • Use dry, seasoned, untreated wood. The wood should make a 'crack' when struck together, not a 'dull thud'.
  • Stack wood under cover in a dry ventilated area.
  • Use small logs and ensure air can circulate freely when in the heater.
  • Burn the fire brightly. Run the heater on a high burn rate (air control fully open) for 5 minutes before and 15 to 20 minutes after adding wood.
  • Don't let your heater smoulder overnight. Keep the air control open enough to maintain a flame. A well insulated house will stay warmer longer.
  • Regularly check the chimney of the heater to monitor for excessive smoke.
  • Clean your flue or chimney at least once a year to remove tar and soot build up. This will increase the heat of your fire and reduce smoke emissions.

Dust

Dust disturbance can include:

  • construction
  • demolition
  • landscaping
  • land clearing

Tips for reducing dust disturbances:

  • Be mindful of weather conditions (e.g. schedule works when there is low wind).
  • Construct barriers to contain excess dust.
  • In dry conditions, use water to contain dust on topsoil.

Unsightly and Insanitary Conditions

Insanitary conditions

These are conditions that may or are interfering with other people’s enjoyment of an area. This could be due to vermin activity, accumulated rubbish either indoors or outdoors, poorly kept or deceased animals, or an absence of proper or adequate sanitary facilities.


Unsightly conditions

These may include conditions on premises involving:

  • excessive or unconstrained rubbish, waste or vegetation; or
    stockpiled, excessive or unconstrained disused or derelict items or material that a reasonable person would consider to be rubbish or waste; or
  • graffiti (other than authorised graffiti) that has been left on the premises for more than 28 days (or 7 days for offensive graffiti); or
  • conditions involving a building on the premises having been left partially demolished or in a state of disrepair, dilapidation or damage.

How do I report a noise or local nuisance?

For any concerns regarding noise or local nusaince, please contact customer service:

Please note:

  • People noise including loud parties, music and voices should be directed to the Police on 131 444.
  • Noise from pubs, nightclubs and other premises licensed under the Liquor Licensing Act 1997 should be directed to Consumer and Business Services.
  • Activities controlled by an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) SA licence, contact the EPA on (08) 8204 2004.
  • Noise from strata or community-titled units should be directed to your strata or management corporation group.
  • At times, an activity outside of normal business hours that causes a local nuisance, may have been so timed as to avoid inconvenience to traffic or pedestrians during normal business hours (for example, in the case of early morning rubbish collection, or late night construction works, in populated or high traffic areas).