Noise

Everything you need to know about residential, commercial and construction noise.

What is noise?

Noise is best described as unwanted sound. If the cause of the noise is too loud and continuous it can become a nuisance to surrounding residents. Certain equipment can only be used during specific times or lengths of the day.

What legislation governs noise?

The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 are the prescribed standard for noise under the Environmental Protection Act 1986. The Regulations deal with noise passing from one premise to another.

The Regulations do not cover noise from registered vehicles travelling on roads, aircraft, trains or emergency warning devices, which are required under other laws. If you are unsure who to contact regarding unwanted noise, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation have a guide to help

Residential Noise

Maintaining a good relationship with your neighbours can help contribute to having a happy, healthy and conflict-free home environment. Living in residential areas means we often share noise with our surrounding neighbours and often people may not realise the impacts their actions may have on others.

How can I minimise neighbourhood noise problems?

Noise levels and the impact of noise can vary depending on the location of your house and source of the noise. The following measures can be taken by owners/occupiers to reduce the impact of noise on neighbouring properties:-

  • Give prior warning in writing to neighbours about parties and/or social gatherings, which may have an effect on the level of noise. This gives neighbours time to accommodate your needs.
  • Only operate power tools, including lawn mowers and edger’s, for a maximum of 2 hours per day and only as often as is reasonable, between the hours of: 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturdays 9am to 7pm Sundays and Public Holidays
  • Musical instruments should not be played in practice for more than one hour in any day and only between the hours of : 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturdays 9am to 7pm Sundays and Public Holidays
  • Ensure your car, truck, motorcycle and lawn mowers have effective mufflers fitted.
  • Shut windows and doors when playing music inside.
  • Avoid operating bores outside the hours of: 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturdays 9am to 7pm Sundays and Public Holidays
  • Ensure that when purchasing an air conditioning unit that its location will not cause annoyance to neighbours. Air conditioner noise must comply with the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997. Ask the installer for confirmation of this.

How do I resolve a noise problem?

If noise emissions become a problem and the special circumstances outlined above do not apply, the Shire’s Environmental Health Services may assist in resolving the matter.

How can I make a complaint about noise pollution?

You can lodge a service request form to the Shire. The Shire’s Environmental Health Officers investigate all noise complaints in accordance with the Regulations and available resources. The form should detail the noise type, its location, frequency and the time of day the noise most often occurs.

What happens when my Noise Investigation Request form is lodged?

After a Service Request Form is received, an Environmental Health Officer will investigate the matter. This normally involves approaching the owner/occupiers of the property where the noise is occurring to try to resolve the issue. All Service Request Forms lodged with the Shire will remain confidential, subject to freedom of information legislation, and usually issues can be resolved with this initial discussion. However, if noise continues to be a problem further action may be required, such as taking noise measurements and issuing written warnings, and you may be required to appear as a witness should legal action be required to resolve the matter.

Additional resources:

An Installers guide to air conditioner noise

Construction noise

Construction noise during daytime

Construction work is permitted during the hours of 7am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday only (excluding public holidays). Any construction outside of these hours the company will need to seek approval from the Shire. Examples of construction noise include power tools, excavation, installation, demolitions.

Actions you can take

  • Speak to the Builders on the construction site to make them aware of your concerns.
  • Contact the building company who is managing the construction site and ask the building company to contact you once they have spoken to the workers on site.
  • If the annoyance caused by the construction noise continues, then you may contact the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale Health Environmental Officers to try assist further.

After hours construction noise

For construction work which needs to be undertaken outside of the above mentioned hours, the company will be required to submit an After hours Construction work Application Form. Our Environmental Health Officers will assess this application and the supporting noise management plan prior to issuing the company with approval for the works.

For further information, please contact Health Services on 9526 1111 or by email info@sjshire.wa.gov.au