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Environmental Health


Food Protection | Onsite Sewage | Private Well | General | Emergency | Online Forms

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Virginia Beach Office of Environmental Health Services, is to provide essential environmental health services to the residents and guests of Virginia Beach. These services are designed to ensure that people residing in or visiting our city can work, raise families, recreate and grow without the threat of food borne, water borne, or vector borne disease and to protect and preserve environmental resources such as earth, water, air, fauna and flora. The major focus areas of this effort are as follows:

  • A Food Protection Program that includes intensive food service manager training, food establishment plan review, regulatory inspections, site specific specialized employee training and required enforcement actions.
  • A Private Well Program that includes subdivision plan review, site feasibility studies, system design, regulatory inspections, sanitary surveys, and required enforcement actions.
  • A Rabies Prevention Program that includes intensive public education efforts with a major emphasis on school age children, investigation of all potential human and pet exposures, conducting rabies vaccination clinics for pet dogs and cats, insuring that all human exposures receive the entire required post-exposure prophylaxis, and required enforcement actions.
  • A General Environmental Program that includes liaison with federal, state and local government agencies, regulation of public swimming pools, tourist establishments, hair, nails and tanning establishments, body art and body piercing establishments and the investigation of environmental complaints.

Please direct comments or queries to Dan Horne, Virginia Beach Department of Public Health at 757-518-2679 or clifton.horne@vdh.virginia.gov



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Food Services

Frequently asked questions about Food Protection

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health, Office of Environmental Health Services, has over fifteen hundred food services facilities under permit. We permit and inspect establishments such as restaurants, school cafeterias, hospital cafeterias, and temporary event vendors (booths at public fairs).

We help to ensure that food is prepared and maintained safely to prevent foodborne illnesses (salmonella, etc).

We investigate reports of foodborne illness, provide education about safe food handling practices and work with eating establishments to correct deficiencies.


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Food Services FAQ

How do I obtain or renew a Health Department Permit for a food service facility?  
Applications for Health Department Permits are available at the Office of Environmental Health Services.  The Permit Application Form is available online from this web site. Detailed plans and fees are required in some cases. Please contact Environmental Health at (757) 518-2646 for further information.

How can I find out if a restaurant has a Health Department permit?  
This information is available by calling the Office of Environmental Health at (757) 518-2646 between the hours of 8:15 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.

How can I review a restaurant's Health Department record?
This information is available here

How can I register a complaint about a restaurant?
Complaints can be registered by calling the Office of Environmental Health Services at (757) 518-2646 or by visiting our office between the hours of 8:15 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.  While it is not a requirement, it is also very effective for customers to let the restaurant management know their opinion of the service, food, and/or facilities.

How can I register for a Certified Food Service Manager Course?
Training information is available on line at this web site.


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Onsite Sewage Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Onsite Sewage
The Onsite sewage program is designed to assist citizens in obtaining a safe and sanitary means of disposing sewage where public sewage disposal is not available. This usually means that the sewage is discharged into or on the ground. The Commonwealth of Virginia, State Board of Health, Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations control onsite sewage disposal.

Forms, Applications and Links

Other Links
Virginia Department of Health
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality


Sewage FAQ

What is the Onsite Sewage Program?

The Onsite Sewage Program deals with using private septic systems to dispose of residential and business sewage where public facilities are not available. Any new system or repair of an existing system requires a Health Department Permit. 

How can I obtain a Health Department Permit to install a new septic system or repair an existing system? 
Applications for Health Department Permits are available at the Office of Environmental Health Services.  The permit application form is available on-line from this web site. Detailed site plans and fees are required in some cases. Site and soil conditions may influence the issuance of a construction permit. Please contact Environmental Health at (757) 518-2646 for further information. 

How can I check on the status of my permit application?
It is helpful to have all the information about your application available i.e., Health Department Identification Number (HDIDNO) which begins "228-xx- ", the date the application was filed, the complete street address, and the name of the Environmental Health representative assigned to your application. 

How can I register a complaint about a septic system?
Complaints can be registered by calling (757) 518-2646 or by visiting the Office of Environmental Health Services between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 


Private Well Regulations

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Private Well Program

The Private Well Regulations became effective in September 1990. The major purpose of these regulations is to insure all private wells are located, constructed, and maintained in a manner that does not adversely affect safety, health, or groundwater resources.

These are some key elements that prospective applicants should be aware of:

  • A PERMIT is required to be obtained PRIOR to the construction of any private well.
  • All water well drillers practicing in the Commonwealth of Virginia are REQUIRED TO BE LICENSED BY THE BOARD OF CONTRACTORS UNDER 
  • There are FEES associated with obtaining a permit for a new well. Fees are generally not required for the repair of an existing well but a permit is required every case.
  • In most cases a SITE VISIT is necessary before the permit can be issued. Time should be allowed during the planning a well construction for the Health Department to complete the site visit.
  • Applicants should provide a SITE PLAN TO SCALE with the completed application form and fees.

Private Well Regulations FAQ

What is the Private Well Program?
The Private Well Program deals with the construction and repair of private wells. Any new well or the repair of an existing well requires a Health Department permit. The construction and location requirements for wells are in the Virginia Private Well Regulations and are available on-line at this web site. 

How can I obtain a Health Department Permit to install a new well or repair an existing well?
Applications for Health Department Permits are available at the Office of Environmental Health Services. The permit application form is available on-line from this web site. Detailed site plans and fees are required in some cases. Site conditions may influence the issuance of a well construction permit. Please contact Environmental Health at (757) 518-2646 for further information.

How can I check on the status of my well permit application?
It is helpful to have all the information about your application available i.e., the Health Department Identification Number (HDIDNO) which begins "228-xx- ", the date the application was filed, the complete street address, and the name of the Environmental Health representative assigned to your application.

How can I register a complaint about a private well?
Complaints can be registered by calling (757) 518-2646 or by visiting the Office of Environmental Health Services between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Click here to find where you can submit water samples to have your well tested?
This website will provide a list of all the currently approved water laboratories in the state.


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Beach Water Monitoring

The Environmental Health Department monitors the beaches along the coast of Virginia Beach from May through September. Water samples are collected weekly during the swimming season and swimming advisories are issued if the standards are exceeded.
Click here for more information.


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General Programs

Rabies

Rabies Prevention Program History

This program is designed to conduct and monitor human and animal exposures to potentially rabid animals in order to prevent the loss of human life due to rabies, a potentially fatal disease.

General Rabies Precautions

  • NEVER approach wild or stray animals, especially raccoons, bats, opossums, foxes, skunks, and strange dogs or cats.
  • ALWAYS REPORT all animal bites/scratches to the Animal Control Bureau at 427-5616 or the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health at 491-5940.
  • ALWAYS consult with you health care provider about animal bites and/or scratches.
  • ALWAYS keep your pets’ rabies vaccination current and up to date. Consult with your veterinarian about vaccination status and any suspicious wounds.
  • PROTECT YOUR PETS BY CONFINING THEM TO YOUR PROPERTY

Public Swimming Pool Program

All public swimming pools are regulated by the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health. This regulatory effort consists of periodic inspections and training of swimming pool operators. Virginia Beach has over 450 public swimming pools under permit. Swimming Pool Regulations will be online soon.  Swimming Pool Regulations

Tourist Establishment Program

The Tourist Establishment Program includes Hotels, Motels, Summer Camps and Campgrounds. There are over 120 Tourist Establishments under permit in Virginia Beach.
Hotel Regulations, Summer Camp Regulations and Campground Regulations

Personal Services – Hair, Barbering, Nails, and Tanning

This program is designed to prevent/reduce the transmission of irritation, infections and disease through inspections and education of all personal services employees. Personal Services Guidelines

Body Art and Body Piercing

Body Art and Piercing Inspections are based on the Code of Virginia Beach and must obtain permits. Body Art includes; tattooing, permanent makeup, branding and scarification. The City of Virginia Beach has over 14 establishments and they are required to be inspected every 30 days and the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health follows the strict guidelines set forth by the CDC.


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Emergency

Hurricane

Virginia Beach is located on the Atlantic coast and is subject to the dangers of hurricanes and floods. Environmental health services during the recovery period of any natural or man made disaster will necessarily focus on providing basic services such as food protection and salvage, restoration of septic and well service, rabies control, and epidemiologic investigations.

Links to Disaster Information Sources

Weather.com
Hurricane - CDC Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
Virginia Beach Emergency Preparedness Web Page
National Hurricane Center Web Page


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Environmental Health Forms

Listed below are permit forms that may be downloaded and printed on your computer's printer. Many of these files require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader .

All forms must be presented in person at the Environmental Office with the proper site information and fees. 
Application for a Sewage Disposal and/or Water Supply Permit
Application for an Express Class IV Well Construction 
Application for Swimming Pool Permit 
Application for Hair, Nails, and Tanning Salons
Application for Food Service Permit   
Application for a Temporary Event
Application for Tattoo Parlor/Body Piercing Establishment
Apply for a State Employment 


Last Updated: 01-23-2012

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