Environmental Health

Mission:

To provide primary prevention through a combination of surveillance, education, enforcement, and assessment programs designed to identify, prevent and abate the environmental conditions that adversely impact human health.

Environmental Health is responsible for informing the public of environmental health hazards, preventing illness through monitoring, assessments and education, as well as protecting the public from environmental health risks.  Doing so involves enforcement of state laws and county ordinances, and permitting/inspection of certain types of public establishments.

Protecting the Health and Safety of Georgia Citizens (video)

Environmental Health Programs:

 

Food Service

For the latest restaurant inspections (by county) visit the link:  Restaurant Inspections

The food service program helps ensure the public will eat in clean and safe food service establishments.  Under the state’s regulations, environmental health specialists review plans for new or renovated facilities and provide consultation in all areas of operation.  Routine risk based inspections of food service establishments are conducted to insure they are operated in a safe and sanitary manner.  The CDC has designated five broad categories of risk factors contributing to food-borne illness.  The risk factors include improper holding temperatures, inadequate cooking, food from unsafe sources, poor personal hygiene, and contaminated equipment.  The goal of conducting proper risk based inspections is for the Environmental Health Specialist to use a practical, risk-based approach to evaluate the establishment through assessment of active managerial control of food-borne illness risk factors.  The state’s regulations and related inspection activities are a critical component of preventing food-borne illness.

Training for food service personnel and managers are offered.  Please contact your local Environmental Health Office for more information on these courses or may visit the direct training sites below for course opportunities.

Accredited Certified Food Safety Manager Courses

The Rules and Regulations governing Georgia Food Service Establishments, Chapter 511-6-1, may be found at:  http://dph.georgia.gov/food-service-rules-and-documents

For information on the Food Serve Permit application process, please review the following checklist and contact your local Environmental Health Office to discuss local procedures and fees:

Food Service Checklist

Office Contact Page for selection of appropriate county information.

For educational materials or additional information pertaining to Food Service, please click on the direct links below or visit the State Environmental Health site at:  http://dph.georgia.gov/environmental-health

First Aid for Choking Poster
No Smoking Sign
Hand washing Poster
Hand washing Sign
Non-Profit Temporary Food Events – Safety Brochure
Contact your local Environmental Health Office for Non-Profit Temporary Food Service requirements, which may vary by county.

Educational Materials – In Different Languages

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On-Site Sewage Management

Environmental Health regulates on-site sewage management systems to ensure their correct installation and proper repair.  New on-site systems must be permitted and inspected prior to use.  Site reviews of individual and subdivision lots are conducted prior to permitting.  A plan review may also be carried out.  Not all lots are suitable for on-site sewage management.  These reviews are conducted to ensure that the lots are suitable for on-site sewage management, and that installation of an appropriate system is planned.  Records of all approved on-site sewage management systems are kept in the County Environmental Health Office.  Environmental Health regulation of these systems is designed to minimize health problems related to untreated human sewage, and helps protect groundwater, drinking water, and surface water from harmful organisms and chemicals that may cause people to become ill.

Understanding Your Septic System (video)

Environmental Health is responsible for regulating individual residential and smaller commercial septic systems (<10,000 gal of water per day). Large systems (>10,000 gpd) are regulated by the GA Environmental Protection Division (EPD). Environmental Health is also responsible for regulating the pumpers and haulers who remove on-site septage and portable toilet waste.

Environmental Health also permits and inspects septic systems that need to be modified or expanded. When an on-site system fails or malfunctions, such as when raw sewage appears on top of the ground, Environmental Health works with property owners to resolve the issue.  The Environmental Health Specialist investigates any related septic failure complaints and recommends enforcement and corrective action in conjunction with environmental laws.

For the Rules and Regulations governing Georgia On-Site Sewage Management, Chapter 511-3-1, you may visit:  http://dph.georgia.gov/wastewater-rules-and-regulations

For information on the septic permit application process and applicable fees, please contact the local Environmental Health Office.  Office Contact Page for selection of appropriate county information.

You may additionally refer to the checklist below:
On-Site Checklist

For information on the following items, please visit the State Environmental Health site at:  http://dph.georgia.gov/environmental-health Or you may follow the direct links below:
Manual for On-site
Additives–Think again!

Certified Lists
Septic Tank Installers
Septic Tank Pumpers
Portable Sanitation Pumpers
Soil Classifiers

Product Approvals

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Tourist Accommodations

The mission of the tourist accommodation program is to minimize illnesses and injuries associated with unsanitary or hazardous conditions through regulation and inspection of Georgia’s tourist accommodations. Environmentalists review plans and issue permits for the construction or renovation of hotels, motels, and bed& breakfast inns. Environmental Health Specialists routinely inspect cleanliness of rooms, food service facilities, and general safety. They also investigate complaints of pest and public health risk factors.

The Rules and Regulations governing Georgia Tourist Accommodations, Chapter 511-6-2, may be found at:  http://dph.georgia.gov/hotels-motels-and-campgrounds

Questions pertaining to the Tourist Accommodation application process and associated fees should be directed to the local Environmental Health Office.  Office Contact Page for selection of appropriate county information.

For standard application forms or information on the following items, please visit the direct links below:
Application
Plan Review Checklist
Plan Review Submission Instructions

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Swimming Pools, Spas, and Recreational Water Parks

The goal of the public swimming pool program is to minimize illnesses and injuries associated with contaminated or hazardous conditions in or around swimming pools. Environmental Health reviews plans and issues permits to provide proper construction, operation and maintenance of new or remodeled pools.  The Environmental Health Specialist inspects public pools to ensure adequate safety equipment for emergencies, proper pool chemistry for water disinfection, and facility maintenance to prevent injury and accidental drowning.

Rules and Regulations governing Georgia Swimming Pools, Spas and Recreational Water parks, Chapter 511-3-5, may be found at: http://dph.georgia.gov/pools

Questions pertaining to the Public Swimming Pool permit application process and associated fees should be directed to the local Environmental Health Office.  Office Contact Page for selection of appropriate county information.

For an application form or information on the following items, please visit the direct links below:
Pool Operator Training Courses
Construction Plan Review
Construction Application
Operation Application
Inspection Form
Hydraulic Analysis Form
CDC Healthy Swimming Information

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Body Art

Environmental Health reviews plans and issues permits to promote the health and safety of individuals performing and receiving body art services.  Each District 2 County Board of Health, with the exception of Forsyth, has adopted Body Art Regulations.  The Environmental Health Specialist in these counties provides permitting reviews and routine inspections for sanitary practices and control of infectious diseases.  Regulations vary by county.  Please contact your local Environmental Health Office for more information.  Office Contact Page for selection of appropriate county information.

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Rabies Control

With the exception of Hall and Forsyth, the County Board of Health Rabies Control Regulations designate the Lead Environmental Health Specialist as the Rabies Control Officer for the County. The Animal Control Officer in Hall and Forsyth fills this role.

In counties where the Lead Environmental Health Specialist is the Rabies Control Officer, Environmental Health investigates animal bite/rabies exposure incidents and coordinates proper confinement of attacking domestic animals.  EH staff prepares and submits specimens to the state lab for testing, as well as facilitates disease tracking through the state disease surveillance program.

For additional information concerning Rabies, please visit:  http://dph.georgia.gov/rabies

To report an animal bite, please notify your local Health Department as soon as possible or if after hours, contact Georgia Poison Control at 1-800-282-5846. The Georgia Poison Center is available for rabies consultation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Office Contact Page for selection of appropriate county information.

For a copy of the Georgia Rabies Manual:  Georgia Rabies Manual

Environmental Health is also responsible for organizing dangerous dog hearing and coordinating with the County Attorney / Animal Control in those counties where the Board of Health has been designated as the hearing authority for such cases.

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Individual Well Water

The Environmental Health Specialist evaluates and inspects individual drinking water supply systems, performs bacteriological testing on water samples, and provides guidance on proper well disinfection and well abandonment.

Some counties have adopted a well construction permit program to ensure proper location and protection of water wells.  In District 2, the following counties issue construction permits for wells:  Hall, Hart, Union and White.

For further information about well water testing and permitting procedures, please contact your local Environmental Health Office.  Office Contact Page for selection of appropriate county information.
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Mosquito Surveillance

The Environmental Health  mosquito surveillance team provides surveillance through trapping and identifying mosquito species, mosquito breeding habitat, and prevention measures.  The Environmental Health Specialist provides educational guidance pertaining to mosquito prevention and minimization efforts.

Prevent Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses.  Tip ‘n Toss all standing water.  Read more Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses:  Zika Tip ‘n Toss Information

EPA Registered Insects Repellents

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Complaint Investigation

Environmental Health investigates many citizen complaints pertaining to health related concerns, working diligently with property/facility owners to abate issues in a timely fashion.  Examples of complaint types range from sewage, solid waste, regulated facility complaints, etc.

To file a complaint, follow the link below for the county in which your complaint resides.

Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, White

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Lead Abatement

Environmental Health provides a coordinated investigation between the local Environmental Health Specialist and State regional lead investigators in response to diagnosed elevated blood lead levels in children.  For more information about Healthy Homes and Elevated Lead Level prevention, you may visit:

http://dph.georgia.gov/healthy-homes-and-lead-poisoning-prevention

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