Environmental Health Overview
The Environmental Health program permits and inspects a variety of basic public facilities and activities within the county. This permitting and oversight includes public food service operations, individual septic systems, individual potable water supply wells, child care facilities, and public swimming pools, among others. Authority for County Health Department to issue permits for such activities and conduct inspections of such facilities is formalized in Legislative Rules derived from the Chapter 16 Public Health Laws in the West Virginia Code. The Public Health Sanitation (PHS) Division of the WV Department of Health and Human Services (DHHR) coordinates and implements these rules and provides a framework within which the county Environmental Health programs operate. The PHS website offers a wealth of information concerning the various programs and policies which the Pendleton County Health Department administers at a local level. Links to forms and legislative rules for the various programs are also provided.
Environmental Health regularly conducts food safety classes for individuals working in food establishments. Pasteurized milk samples are regularly submitted to the state laboratory for bacterial and antibiotic level analysis. Private spring and well water supplies can be sampled and sent for bacterial analysis upon request. Developers and land subdividers are encouraged to evaluate created lots and properties to ensure that they will meet State standards for water well and septic system location.
Environmental Health works closely with Nursing, Epidemiology, and care providers in investigating disease outbreaks from a common source, such as food or water, involving two or more persons. Of particular concern is Rabies, a viral disease transmitted through the bite and saliva of infected warm-blooded animals. The disease is fatal if not treated appropriately after exposure. The Rabies fact sheet contains basic information. Animal bites involving wild animals and domestic pets are investigated and samples are submitted to the state laboratory for rabies examination (see sidebar).
Our environmental staff consists of Brooke Hott, R.S., Registered Sanitarian, full time; and Kami Keyser, R.S., Registered Sanitarian, part-time. They work jointly as a team to insure public health safety throughout the county. Together they encourage safe and healthy living habits and practices.
If you are interested in applying for an individual sewage system or well permit, a permanent or temporary food service permit, or requesting that a domestic water sample be taken, please proceed to our Environmental Health Programs, Links, and Forms Page for PDF printable application forms, applicable permit fees, and other information.