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

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On-Site Sewage Management

On-Site Sewage Management includes permitting and inspection of on-site sewage management systems for residential and commercial use, and review of subdivision developments utilizing on-site sewage management systems.

Regulation of on-site sewage management systems to ensure their correct installation and proper repair helps 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.

Systems regulated include individual residential and commercial septic and advanced treatment systems, small community systems (<10,000 gal of water per day), and other on-site waste management systems, including portable toilets and the pumpers and haulers who remove on-site waste. Both new systems and existing systems being modified or expanded are permitted and inspected. On-site system failures or malfunctions, such as when raw sewage appears on top of the ground, are investigated and all system repairs are permitted and inspected.

Not all lots are suitable for on-site sewage management. Site reviews of individual and subdivision lots prior to development ensure that the lots are suitable for on-site sewage management and that installation of an appropriate system is planned. Pre- purchase site evaluations can also be performed.

Continuing education is provided at various times to septic tank installers, pumpers, soil scientists, geologists, and engineers involved in installing, maintaining, and repairing on-site sewage management systems.

Homeowner’s Guide to On-site Sewage Management Systems

Certified Septic Tank Pumpers

On-Site-Checklist.pdf

 

For information on the following topics, please go to the state environmental health site: http://dph.georgia.gov/environmental-health

• Certified Septic Tank Pumpers

• Certified Septic Tank Installer Companies

• Approved Soil Classifiers

• Product Approvals

• State Manual for Onsite Sewage Management Systems

 
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Food Service

The Food Service Program includes permitting and inspections of food service facilities, school cafeterias, fairs and festivals; providing food service training; and food-borne outbreak illness investigations.

The food service program helps ensure the public will eat in clean, safe food service establishments. Regular inspections ensure food supplies come from approved and wholesome sources; that foods are prepared, stored, and served in a safe, hygienic manner; and that food service facilities are safe and sanitary. These activities are a critical component in preventing food-borne illness.

If a food-borne illness does occur, investigation into the cause is undertaken and any correct actions are determined.

ServeSafe and other training for food service personnel and managers are offered.

 Food Service Checklist

First Aid for Choking Poster

No Smoking Sign

ServeSafe

National Registry of Food Safety Professionals

For information on the following topics, please go to the state environmental health site: http://dph.georgia.gov/environmental-health

• State Rules and Regulations for Food Service

• State Smoking Rules

• Handwashing Poster

• Temperature Sign

For the latest restaurant inspections (by county) go to: Restaurant Inspections

 
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Tourist Accommodations


The Tourist Accommodation Program involves permitting and inspections of tourist accommodations including hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, and cabins.

Establishments are routinely inspected for cleanliness of rooms, on site food service facilities, and general safety, in order to minimize illnesses and injuries associated with unsanitary or hazardous conditions.

State Rules and Regulations for Tourist Accommodations

 
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Swimming Pools

The Swimming Pool Program includes permitting and inspections of all public swimming pools, spas, and water parks.

Safety equipment, pool chemistry, and facility maintenance are inspected on a regular basis to minimize illnesses and injuries associated with contaminated or hazardous conditions in or around public swimming pools.

State Rules and Regulations for Swimming Pools

CDC Healthy Swimming Information

CPO Training

 
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Body Art Establishments

The Body Art Program involves permitting and inspection of tattoo parlors and body art establishments. Many counties perform this function.

Routine inspections of sanitary practices and general operations are carried out to ensure the health and safety of establishment workers and patrons. Regulations vary by county.

 
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On-Site Water

The On-Site Water Program involves permitting of individual drinking water wells. Some counties perform this function.

Permitting ensures that drinking water wells are located according to guidelines that minimize contamination of the water they produce.

 
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Rabies Control

– investigate animal bites, ensure animal quarantine, and track the presence of the rabies disease. Dangerous dog hearings may be held upon request by the local Board of Health. Many counties perform this function, particularly those not having animal control.
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Lead Abatement

– investigate possible sources of environmental or occupational lead exposure for children showing elevated blood lead levels.
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Environmental Health-Related Complaints

investigate citizen complaints on health related issues, including complaints in all program areas listed above and the Smoke Free Air Act.
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State Environmental Health Office