The Environmental Health Department provides site evaluation for design and permitting of septic systems and wells. The environmental health staff assists in providing health education to the community with regards to safe food handling practices, lead, radon and other environmental concerns. Other duties include inspections of daycares, adult care facilities, school cafeterias, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, festival and fair vendors, campgrounds, summer camps, migrant labor camps, and marinas. We are also responsible for investigating West Nile Virus reports, animal bites and general environmental complaints.
The Virginia Department of Health Onsite Sewage and Water Supply Program and the New River Health District provide a number of free services to the community including:
- plan reviews for local governments
- courtesy reviews of private sector work
- engineering plan reviews
- construction inspections of wells and sewage systems
- site and soil evaluations
- sanitary surveys
- designs of certain onsite sewage disposal systems
- complaint investigations
- reviews of private sector work
Additionally, there are no application fees for repair permits, and for owners, whose adjusted gross income is below the federal poverty guidelines, all services are free.
The Virginia Department of Health and the New River Health District do charge fees for customers applying for Construction Permits of various types for Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems and Private Water Supplies as well as customer’s applying for Establishment Permits (i.e. Restaurants, Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, Campgrounds and Summer Camps) and the Plan Review associated with a given establishment.
For a schedule of fees for specific applications, please select a link below:
Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems and/or Private Wells (by locality):
Establishment and Plan Review (for all localities in the NRHD):
Plan review fees for hotels, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, summer camps, and campgrounds are $40 each and then an additional $40 for the permit fee. Thereafter, the annual permit fee for these establishments will also be $40 each
Food Service Establishments:
Food Service Permit Application Procedure and Submission of Plans
Mobile Food Establishments:
Mobile Food Establishment Plan Review and Application Packet
Mobile Food Establishment Guidelines
Temporary Food Events:
Temporary Food Event Packet
News of Interest
Emergency Regulations for Alternative Onsite Sewage Systems
The Emergency Regulations for alternative onsite sewage systems took effect on April 7, 2010 and have been extended six months. They will now expire October 7, 2011. You can review the emergency regulations and associated documents here.
The Board of Health has proposed replacing the emergency regulations. The Virginia Department of Health convened a series of technical advisory committee meetings to seek input for the proposed regulations. You can view information about those meetings here.
Read the IEN Final Report for the Emergency Regulations
Read Weldon Cooper’s Findings on Owner Experiences using Onsite Sewage Systems in Virginia
Manufacturer’s Operation and Maintenance Instructions
Private Well Regulations
The Virginia Department of Health proposes to amend the Private Well Regulations. The first of these two amendments establishes an express geothermal permit, allowing the construction of wells used solely for closed loop geothermal heating systems. The second amendment establishes minimum well yield and storage requirements for residential drinking water wells. The enabling legislation was unopposed during the 2009 General Assembly and the language of the amendments tracks the language in the Code as closely as possible. VDH has worked closely with the Virginia Water Well Association in the drafting of these amendments and believes that the amendments accomplish the minimum requirements of the 2009 legislation.
Legislation approved in 2007 required the Board of Health to establish a program for regulating operation and maintenance of alternative onsite sewage systems. VDH has worked with stakeholders for several years to develop those regulations as part of a broader effort to incorporate new technology and establish performance requirements.
The Board of Health published a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) on October 8, 2008. You can view the NOIRA here.
The following regulatory outline is a working draft (as of 8-29-08) and is subject to change. The links to the individual sections are working DRAFTS, subject to change and should not be confused with proposed regulations. The Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee is in the process of reviewing and commenting on the regulations.
2.) Performance Requirements
3.) Sewage Handling, Residuals Management
4.) Site Characterization
5.) Prescriptive Design and Construction Criteria
6.) Sewers and Conveyances
7.) Performance-Based Systems
8.) Existing Onsite Sewage Systems, Existing Structures, and voluntary upgrades
9.) Operation Maintenance, Monitoring and Management
10.) Listing Treatment Devices
11.) Nonpublic Drinking Water Supplies other than private wells
12.) Water conservation and reuse
13.) Risk-based assessment
Manual of Practice
Onsite Sewage System Program Information
- August 13th, 2007 presentation: Accomack County and Chincoteague Virginia “Wastewater 101“
- Report to the Governor and the General Assembly, January 2007 (Five Year Report)
- Regulation Review Meetings : Contains meeting minutes and documents discussed during meetings held January through May 2006