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 Poisoning Prevention)
Tick Identification Program
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.

  • Convenience store delis (with a seating capacity of 15 seats or less) and grocery store delis are permitted and inspected under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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)

Properties that are not served by public sewer or a public water system require permitting by the Virginia Department of Health. The RCAHD onsite sewage (septic) and well water program operates primarily in our rural localities and helps to ensure that we have safe water supplies by:

·       Protecting surface and ground water to ensure safe drinking waterDo your part be septicsmart

·       Offering permits for private wells, sewage systems, and sewage disposal

·       Investigating reports of raw sewage or other reports of ground water contamination

Visit our Onsite FAQ page to learn more about routine applications and VDH programs for financial assistance based in household income

What you should know when buying a house with an onsite system

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)

Roanoke City, Roanoke County and the City of Salem all have local codes which require inspection and permitting of all public pools including apartment complexes, fitness centers and swim clubs. Roanoke City and Roanoke County charge a pool permit fee. Tourist establishment pools are inspected in all RCAHD jurisdictions according to state regulations. Depending on the jurisdiction, construction plans for new pools may be required for health department review and approval.

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 Poisoning Prevention)

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.

Tick Identification Program

VDH offers a VDH Tick Identification program to assist residents with identification of tick species, which may assist with treatment.

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) 962-2173
  • Botetourt County Health Department – Telephone (540) 666-4275
  • 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, 2019

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 Reasonable fee based on staff time

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). https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-health/