Environmental Health

The Environmental Health Division is dedicated to making the Roanoke City & Alleghany Health Districts the healthiest districts in the state by protecting citizens from preventable risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work.  Emphasis is placed on education and public awareness of health concerns, as well as regulatory authority. The main Environmental Health office is located at 1502 Williamson Road NE Roanoke VA. Phone (540) 204-9764.

The Environmental Health Division is responsible for the following programs:

Food Program (Restaurants, Caterers, Schools, Mobile Units, Adult Homes, Day Cares, Festivals)
Onsite Program (Private Sewage Disposal Systems and Drinking Water Wells)
Tourist Establishments Program (Hotels, Motels, Campgrounds, Bed & Breakfast Facilities)
Recreational Water Program (Public Pools & Water Parks)
Rabies Program (Exposure Case Management and Testing)
Lead Program (Lead Based Paint)
Vector Control Program (Rodents and Insects)
General Environmental Health Program (General Environmental Complaints)

Food Program (Restaurants & Other Food Facilities)

Food facilities in the Roanoke City & Alleghany Health District have an inspection frequency based on their priority risk assessment rating.  Environmental Health Specialist Seniors (EHSSs) inspect food establishments that include: restaurants, caterers, schools cafeterias, mobile units, seasonal food facilities, child care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and homes for adults and other institutions, continental breakfast facilities in tourist establishments, summer camps, and temporary food facilities at festivals and other events.

  • A convenience or grocery store deli with a seating capacity of 15 seats or less is permitted and inspected under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, however, in the city of Roanoke, local code gives the health department the authority to inspect and permit these facilities as well.

Restaurant inspections are available at the web site: http://healthspace.com/Clients/VDH/VDH/web.nsf/home.xsp.

Information on the Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) Certification can be found by clicking here. 

Onsite Program (Septic Systems & Wells)

Application submittals for private sewage disposal systems and water wells designed by licensed authorized conventional and alternative onsite soil evaluators (AOSE & OSE), as well as professional engineers (PE), are reviewed and permitted by this division.  These onsite system submittals may be for single-family residential use or large-scale commercial use.  In some circumstances, which do not include owner speculation or anything other than a single-family residence, the site evaluation and design may be completed by the EHSS.  This division also investigates complaints of failing sewage disposal systems and contaminated wells.  When complaints are found to be valid, the EHSS may require the owner to complete corrective repairs. Click here to view the Alternative Onsite Sewage System (AOSS) Operator Map. More information can be found by clicking here: Environmental Health Onsite Sewage Water Services.

Tourist Establishment Program (Hotel, Motel, B&B, Campground)

Tourist Establishment facilities in the Roanoke City & Alleghany Health District have an inspection frequency of at least one inspection per year.  The inspection must include at least 10% of the total number of rooms, and any other amenities such as pools, hot tubs, saunas, and continental breakfast facilities. Tourist establishments include hotels, motels, campgrounds and bed and breakfast facilities. All new tourist establishment facilities are required to have the plans reviewed and approved by the Health Department before a permit is issued.  All complaints of tourist establishments are investigated by the EHSS.

Recreational Water Program (Pools & Water Parks)

Seasonal public recreational water facilities (pools, water parks) in the Roanoke City & Alleghany Health District are inspected prior to opening for the season, and then as needed during the remainder of the season. Year round indoor public recreational water facilities are inspected twice per year. The plans for any new public pool require health department review and approval before being permitted.  In Roanoke City & Roanoke County all apartment complexes, fitness centers, YMCA, YWCA, and government owned public pools are inspected and permitted under local codes. Roanoke City and Roanoke County also have local codes that require a fee for each pool season before a permit can be issued. Tourist establishment pools and spas are inspected under state regulations, as well as local codes.

Rabies Program (Animal Confinements and Testing)

This division works very closely with the Animal Control Divisions, reviews reports of all animal bites to insure proper procedures for confinement, confinement releases and notifications to victims. When animals are not located for confinement or testing, victims receive calls and letters from the EHSS to assure they are aware of the state health department’s position regarding the need for rabies post-exposure treatment. This division also makes the decision to require animal rabies testing when necessary, and prepares the specimens for shipment to the state laboratory.

Lead Program (Lead Based Paint)

When a physician reports a child (normally 5-years-old or younger) with a high lead level to the Health Department, the EHSS and public health nurse jointly make visits to the child’s home, and other places they may spend time, such as day care centers or babysitters, to access how exposure may have occurred.  Normally, dust wipes, chipping paint samples, water and soil samples are collected and sent to a private laboratory for analysis to determine the source of lead in the child’s environment. In addition, they advise the parents of proper diet and cleaning practices to reduce the lead levels within the child.

Vector Control Program (Rodents and Insects)

This program focuses much of its time on educating the public concerning preventative measures to reduce rodent harborages and feeding areas. Education and advice is also provide to citizens experiencing insect infestations such as bed bugs and roaches.  In Roanoke City only, extermination duties may be performed on city owned property, which is not under private contract, such as sidewalks and parks.  In addition, this program provides assistance to the Western Virginia Water Authority to locate broken sewer lines associated with rodent infestations.

General Environmental Health Program

This could cover any environmental health problems not mentioned above on a case-by-case basis. Often these are related to complaints of trash and garbage not properly contained for pickup by the local Department of Solid Waste Management. Trash, garbage and rat complaints are often received at the same location. Complaints of “bulk” items such as brush, old tires, junk, furniture, etc., are also investigated and/or referred to the responsible agency. VDH does not have the capability to provide environmental testing or remediation for mold problems. For information regarding who to contact for mold removal, please click here.

If you need more specific information on any of these Environmental Health programs, or to file a complaint, please contact our district offices as follows:

  • Roanoke City/County & Salem Health Department – Telephone: (540) 204-9764
  • Alleghany & Covington Health Departments  – Telephone (540) 965-7872
  • Botetourt County Health Department – Telephone (540) 473-8243
  • Craig County Health Department – Telephone (540) 864-5136

Mailing Address:
Environmental Health Division
Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts
1502 Williamson Rd. 2nd Floor
Roanoke, VA  24012

Environmental Health Fees
Effective July 1, 2010

Onsite Well and Septic Fees

Fee Title Fee
Certification Letter, Without OSE/PE Documentation (Well Not Included) $350.00
Construction Permit for an Onsite Sewage System (Without a Well) Without OSE/PE Documentation Included (Conventional Septic System Only) $425.00
Minor Sewage System Modification Permit $100.00
Construction Permit for a Well, Geo-Thermal Well or Well Abandonment $300.00
Combined Well and Onsite System Construction Permit Without OSE/PE Documentation Included (Conventional Septic System Only & Well) $725.00
Certification Letter With OSE/PE Documentation Designed Flow Is ≤ 1,000 gpd $320.00
Certification Letter With OSE/PE Documentation Designed Flow Is ≥ 1,000 gpd $1,400.00
Construction Permit for an Onsite Sewage System with OSE/PE Documentation Designed Flow Is ≤ 1,000 gpd $225.00
Construction Permit for a Onsite Sewage System with OSE/PE Documentation Designed Flow Is ≥ 1,000 gpd $1,400.00
Combined Well and Onsite System Construction Permit With OSE/PE Documentation Designed Flow Is ≤ 1,000 gpd $525.00
Combined Well and Onsite System Construction Permit With OSE/PE Documentation Designed Flow Is ≥ 1,000 gpd $1,700.00

OSE = Onsite Soil Evaluator “Licensed Professional”
PE = Professional Engineer
gpd = Gallon Per Day

Yearly Permit Fees

Fee Title Fee
Restaurant or Food Facility Permit $40.00
Restaurant Plan Review (Required for all new or renovated establishments) $40.00
Hotel/Motel Permit $40.00
Hotel/Motel Plan Review (Required for all new or renovated establishments) $40.00
Bed & Breakfast Permit $40.00
Bed & Breakfast Plan Review (Required for all new or renovated establishments) $40.00
Summer Camp Permit $40.00
Summer Camp Plan Review (Required for all new or renovated camps) $40.00
Campground Permit $40.00
Campground Plan Review (Required for all new establishments) $40.00
Roanoke City Pool Permit $50.00
Roanoke County Pool Permit $50.00
Temporary Event – Food Vendor Permit $40.00

FOIA or Document Request

Fee Title Fee
Freedom of Information Act “FOIA” Requests $10.00 (Minimum Charge)

For more Information

Information on all Environmental Health Rules and Regulations can be found on the VDH Web Site under the Office of Environmental Health Services (OEHS). http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-health/