Environmental Health Programs, links, and Forms

Sewage Information and Forms

West Virginia State Law requires that any wastewater generated by dwellings or establishments be disposed of in an approved manner. This is intended to minimize threats to Public Health and help protect groundwater sources from potential contamination. Due to the rural nature of much of the State and the lack of centralized sewage treatment facilities, onsite septic systems are often the only choice available.

When applying for an individual sewage system, the property owner must complete his portion of a sewage system application, Form SS-182A. The remainder of the form must be completed by a WV Certified Septic System Installer. A list of Installers active in Pendleton County is here. The link to the statewide listing at the Public Health Sanitation (PHS) website is here. In addition, any individual installing septic systems must have a valid WV Division of Labor Contractor's License; the search page for contractor licensing is here. The installer will conduct a percolation test and excavate a six foot deep soils observation hole at the proposed site. The completed form and a $180.00 permit fee is submitted to the health department. The sanitarian will make an evaluation visit to the site. If the site meets state standards, a permit for the septic system installation will be issued to the owner. The permit is good for one year. At this point a building permit may be obtained from the Pendleton County Assessor's Office. At the completion of the installation, the sanitarian will revisit the site, inspect the system, and record a drawing of the system for future reference.

If an individual is subdividing individual lots which will require onsite wastewater disposal, the subdivider must obtain health department subdivision approval for those lots before any septic system permits may be issued. The lots are evaluated by a septic system installer and a site visit made by the sanitarian. The results are recorded on Application for Subdivision Approval, Form ES-76. There is an approval fee based on the number of lots subdivided. Subdivision Approval is not a permit for a particular septic system; by approval at the subdivision stage, the Health Department agrees that the subdivider has supplied a suitable site for wastewater disposal and that the Health Department will issue a permit to the eventual applicant based on that site.

Food Information and Forms

While the food supply in the United States is one of the safest in the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur, more than 300,000 persons are hospitalized, and 5,000 die from foodborne illness. The CDC has identified the top five risk factors that most often are responsible for foodborne illness outbreaks: improper hot/cold holding temperatures of potentially hazardous food, improper cooking temperatures of food, dirty and/or contaminated utensils and equipment, poor employee health and hygiene, and food from unsafe sources.

Because of the health and safety consequences from improper food operations, the Pendleton County Board of Health requires that food workers in Pendleton County attend a food safety class each year, conducted at various locations in the county by the Health Department staff. This food safety training is now also available online from TAP Series, an accredited online training series program. Use this link to register online for the Pendleton County training certification. Please contact the Pendleton County Health Department for further information.

Due to the industrialization and globalization of our food supply, safety problems relating to improper preparation and contamination of foods have consequences over a much greater geographic area. The US Food and Drug Administration has a website which maintains current information on food recalls, withdrawals, and safety alerts. Since the US Department of Agriculture has jurisdiction over meat, poultry, and egg food safety, their Food Safety and Inspection Service has its own website devoted to recalls of those food products.

The West Virginia food regulation is 64 CSR 17, Food Establishments, which adopts the 2005 FDA Food Code by reference. The Bureau for Public Health has assembled some handouts which distill the important food safety information into a condensed format:

When planning to open a new food establishment or extensively remodel an existing food establishment, the health department requires the completion of Food Establishment Plan Review, Form SF-35. View the SF-35 Addendum for more detailed information of food establishment design and construction. Contact the health department to discuss other requirements for a new establishment and to set up an appointment to discuss your future plans.

If you currently own/operate a food establishment, have purchased or leased an existing one, or have constructed or remodeled one, you will need to complete an SF-5, Application to Operate a Food Establishment, and return the form with the correct fee to the health department. A food establishment may have a Food Service permit, a Retail Store permit, or both. The fees associated with the permit(s) are based on the number of seats in the establishment and/or the number of checkout stations. Please contact the health department to find out the fee requirement for your establishment. The permit issued to the establishment must be renewed by application each year beginning on July 1.

A temporary food service concession is a food establishment that operates at a fixed location for a period of time not more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration, such as a fair, festival, or carnival. There are many opportunities for Temporary Food Events throughout the year in Pendleton County. If your organization is interested in applying, complete the Temporary Food Application Form and return to the health department prior to the temporary event. Currently, there is no fee associated with this application. The Guidelines for Operating a Temporary Food Concession booklet SF-4 is a useful piece of information that can be helpful while planning and preparing for an event. Some other useful guidelines to keep in mind can be found here.

Water Wells and Water Sample Information and Forms

An individual wanting to drill a new potable water well, or modify or abandon an existing well, must complete and submit a Water Well Application for Permit using form SW 256. The well permit fee is $100.00. The Health Department will make a visit to each proposed well site before a permit is issued. Each water well must be drilled by a West Virginia licensed well driller. A list of approved drillers is available at the Environmental Engineering Division website. A list of approved drillers who are active in Pendleton County may be found here.

A permit for private spring and cistern water supplies is not required by the Health Department. Site visits and information are available from Environmental Health personnel to help ensure that these private supplies are constructed is such a manner to keep them safe from contamination. Well, spring, and cistern supplies may be sampled for bacterial content upon request. The Health Department charges a $15.00 fee for sample collection; the State Laboratory charges a similar fee for analysis. Samples must be taken Monday-Wednesday, and results will be available by the following week.

Other Environmental Health Programs

Several other programs are included in the permit/inspection responsibilities and review of local Health Departments. These programs include:

More information on these programs, associated forms, and links to the Legislative Rules from which the programs are derived may be found at the Public Health Sanitiation website.

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