Campgrounds & Summer Camps

Campground Regulations      Summer Camp Regulations

Environmental Health professionals at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) work to protect the health and safety of campers at Virginia’s campgrounds and summer camps.

Efforts focus on the provision of safe drinking water, sufficient sewage disposal, effective vector control, proper ground maintenance, and swimming pool safety. All Virginia campgrounds and summer camps must be permitted by VDH and are inspected annually by staff from local Health Departments.

For specific questions, contact your local Health Department.

Campground Regulations Update

The Rules and Regulations Governing Campgrounds are undergoing revision!

The revisions will update these regulations to reflect the modern camping industry. New provisions will include standards for temporary campgrounds, primitive campgrounds, and rental cabins and yurts. The new regulations will give campground owners more flexibility while still protecting the health and safety of those using Virginia’s beautiful campgrounds.

The amended regulations have recently been approved by the Board of Health. These regulations are currently undergoing Executive Branch review. Once this process is complete, they will be available for comment on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website for 30 days.

If the regulations receive less than 25 objections on the public comment forum, they will go into effect at the end of the comment period.

VDH recommends that you review the entire proposed new regulation at:

Temporary Camping

Temporary CampgroundIf you plan to hold a temporary camping event with three or more campsites, this camping will probably meet the regulatory definition of a campground (refer to the ‘Definitions’ section of the Rule and Regulations Governing Campgrounds). If it does, you will need a Campground Permit form the Virginia Department of Health. Examples of temporary camping events include camping at musical festivals and other events of limited duration.

Our regulations do not have specific standards for temporary camping, and operators usually need to obtain waivers from the regulations in order to obtain a permit for temporary camping.

Temporary camping operators should contact the appropriate local health department as far in advance as possible for assistance in applying for waivers.

Coming Soon!

The proposed amendments to the regulations will include standards for temporary camping, thereby eliminating the need to obtain temporary camping waivers in most cases.

Storm Recovery

Major storms and hurricanes can impact your campground’s private well and onsite sewage disposal system; information is available here to learn about private well and septic system concerns and post-storm recovery.