NOTICE: The Office of Environmental Health Services (OEHS) has recommended that local Environmental Health (EH) offices limit access to the general public except in cases where there is a scheduled appointment with clients as part of the agency’s response to COVID-19. EH services are still open and available, we are only recommending that interaction with clients be transitioned to telephone, email, fax, mail, and other means that do not require clients to physically come into local health departments to the greatest extent possible.
Local restaurant inspection reports can be found here: LENOWISCO Restaurant and Food Service Inspections.
- For more information about the Virginia Department of Health & Office of Environmental Health Services: OEHS
- For Food Safety information & Food Recalls: Home | FoodSafety.gov
- CDC’s Protect Yourself When Eating Out: http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dfwed/pdfs/protect-yourself-when-eating-out-508c.pdf
- USDA’s Tips for Eating Healthy When Eating Out: Tips for Eating Healthy when Eating out
Onsite Sewage Handling and Disposal
All onsite sewage disposal systems require permitting by the Virginia Department of Health. Our environmental health specialists (EHS) are certified as Onsite Soil Evaluators (OSE) through the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. EHS can conduct site/soil evaluations to determine the suitability for an onsite sewage disposal system or applicants may choose to hire a private practice OSE. If a site is found for a conventional septic tank/drainfield system, EHS can issue a permit and subsequently inspect the installation of that system. If a conventional septic tank/drainfield system site cannot be found, many alternative onsite sewage disposal system (AOSS) options exist that may be suitable for that site. EHS may assist an applicant in understanding what options are available, but AOSS’s must be designed by a private practice OSE and/or Professional Engineer. Owners of AOSS’s are required to have those systems maintained by a licensed service provider to ensure the system performs in a manner that protects public health and the environment. Also, under this program, sewage handlers (septic tank pumpers) must be permitted and inspected.
To view regulations, policies, and/or to print copies of an application, please use the following link:
Alternative Discharging Sewage Treatment
If no conventional onsite sewage disposal option can be found for a property, there may be an option for installing an alternative discharging sewage treatment system. The health department issues permits for single family homes discharging less than 1000 gallons/day jointly with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. If the discharging system serves anything other than a single-family home discharging less than 1000 gallons per day, the permit is issued solely by DEQ. Designs for these systems must be submitted by a Professional Engineer. VDH EHS review the designs, issue a permit based on an approved design, and, post-installation, conduct annual inspections of each discharging system. Owners of these systems are required to have them maintained and monitored by a licensed service provider.
To view the Discharging Regulations, please use the following link:
The VDH permits all wells with the exception of monitoring wells. As part of the permitting process, we or a private practice OSE locate the well site/area to assure proper set-backs from potential contaminant sources (drain fields, barns, graveyards, etc.) and determine the minimum construction requirements that must be used. Inspections are conducted during construction and/or after construction to assure the well was sited and constructed properly. Drinking water wells must be tested for bacterial contamination before the well can approved as a drinking water supply. Permits are also required to abandon a well. Abandonment must be conducted by a licensed well driller and be witnessed by EHS or private practice OSE.
Hotel Permitting and Inspection
Hotels are inspected and permitted under the authority of the Rules and Regulations Governing Hotels. Plan reviews are required prior to permit issuance for new or remodeled facilities. Inspections focus on general cleanliness, building upkeep, pool facilities, and insect and rodent control.
To view the Hotel Regulations or to find an application for a new hotel or remodel, please use the following link:
Campground Permitting and Inspection
Campgrounds are inspected and permitted under the authority of the Rules and Regulations Governing Campgrounds. Plans reviews are required prior to permit issuance for new or expanded facilities. Inspections focus on water supply, sewage disposal, and service building upkeep.
To view the Campground Regulations or to find an application for a new or expanding campground, please use the following link:
Summer Camp Permitting and Inspection
Summer camps are permitted to and inspected under the authority of the Rules and Regulations Governing Summer Camps. Plan reviews are required prior to permit issuance for new or remodeled facilities. Inspections focus on general cleanliness, water supply, sewage disposal, and swimming facilities.
To view the Summer Camp Regulations or to find an application for new or remodeled facilities, please use the following link:
Migrant Labor Camp Permitting and Inspection
Migrant Labor Camps are permitted and inspected under the authority of the Rules and Regulations Governing Migrant Labor Camps. Inspections of these facilities focus on water supply, sewage disposal, housing, and garbage pick-up.
To view the Migrant Labor Camp Regulations or to find an application for a new or remodeled facility, please use the following link:
Local jails are inspected annually under the authority of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Corrections (DOC). EHS inspect for general sanitation and facility upkeep. Any findings are shared with the jail staff and the DOC’s inspection staff for enforcement.
Lead Risk Assessments
The LENOWISCO Health District maintains a certified lead risk assessor on staff to conduct environmental lead investigations when indicated as a part of a work-up of a child with an elevated blood lead level. Elevated lead levels, untreated, can cause neurological and developmental abnormalities in children. The investigation consists of taking and reviewing a thorough medical history to identify possible sources of exposure, and based on this may include sampling paint, dust, soil, and water from the environment in which the child lives, and interviewing families regarding behavior and activities to determine the most likely source(s) of exposure.
For more information:
In Wise County & the City of Norton, please call 276-328-8000
In Scott County, please call 276-386-1312
In Lee County, please call 276-346-2011