Jefferson County Health Department

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Jefferson County Health Department offers vaccinations, screenings, testing, and education on various health topics. In addition, they provide COVID-19 support and guidance to businesses.

Feeney contends that according to the GIA, county commissioners and boards of health can be seen as having significant powers of governance over its implementation.

Onsite Sewage Disposal

In the United States, an estimated 26 million homes, businesses, and recreational facilities use on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems known as septic systems for waste treatment and disposal. These systems treat and dispose of residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial wastewater on their production site through natural biological waste recycling processes that return nutrient-rich organic matter into nature via plant growth, groundwater recharge, or evapotranspiration.

JCPH conducts on-site sewage disposal system inspections to protect public health and environmental quality. A typical system consists of a septic tank connected with underground gravel disposal field lines; however, other alternatives exist, such as spray irrigation systems, peat bio-filters, aerobic treatment units, aboveground mound systems, and buried sand mound systems. We also investigate any repairs that need to be made.

Before receiving a permit to install or operate an on-site sewage system, its designer, installer, or operator must submit a completed application, septic system layout, and soil evaluation report. Instead of experience, proof of having worked under the supervision of a certified installer or monitoring specialist for at least one year may suffice as experience. Furthermore, applicants must complete 16 education contact hours on treating and disposing of system operation/maintenance at Northwest On-Site Wastewater Training Center or an equivalent institution.

After performing a monitoring inspection of an on-site sewage system, an operation and monitoring (O&M) specialist or designer enters their report in a database for on-site septic operations and monitoring systems, which is then accessible online through parcel number or address searches.

This resource can be invaluable to those researching on-site sewage systems on their property or neighbors and landowners planning to buy/sell property or build home/business/recreational facilities. Furthermore, O&M data is valuable when filing soil erosion reports.

Food Establishments

Retail establishments, bed and breakfasts, mobile units, and temporary events must all obtain a license from JCHD’s Food Program. Inspections for restaurants/retail operations, plan reviews of new functions as well and temporary food event permits are part of this initiative.

Inspections are carried out according to state and county regulations and FDA Food Code regulations, emphasizing food safety and sanitation within a facility. Potential hazards must be corrected before being reinspected for approval to open.

Jefferson County law makes it illegal to sell food without first receiving a permit, including at home. All individuals preparing, handling, or selling potentially hazardous foods in any establishment (even those serving only non-potentially dangerous foods) must obtain a license from the Health Department (including employees with an ANSI-accredited Food Protection Manager certification).

An inspection entails inspecting equipment for cleanliness and safety as well as storage/holding areas/prep areas/storage facilities and temperatures for food storage/handling by food industry standards. Furthermore, food must be handled safely while maintained within the appropriate temperature range. Finally, inspectors check handwashing facilities – they must be easily accessible with soap/towels/devices available as part of an easy system that facilitates use.

Food contact surfaces must be properly washed, rinsed, and sanitized after each use or at any point when contamination may have occurred (i.e., sneeze guards not appropriately used, ice containers with open seams or cracks, food left exposed without refrigeration, no hot water available for handwashing and dirty floors).

During our plan review process, applicants must submit floor plans showing where all equipment will be located and proposed menu procedures and policies. Once approved, an establishment must be constructed according to its approved plan before scheduling a pre-operational inspection with us.

Public Health Inspections

The Jefferson County Public Health Food Safety Program conducts public inspections of restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, hospitals, schools, taverns, body art establishments, and temporary food events in Jefferson County. Inspection results can be viewed online by entering their business name or first three letters if uncertain of spelling; our website updates nightly to display the most up-to-date inspection results.

Remember, an inspection represents only a snapshot in time and may not accurately reflect an establishment’s overall, long-term cleanliness. Furthermore, any violations discovered on one review do not necessarily indicate their quality as food or service providers.

Public health is of utmost importance, and we aim to deliver safe, nutritious foods and environments for residents and visitors of our community. In doing so, we dedicate resources, invest in needs, and empower individuals to reach their optimal wellness through actions that reflect Care, Safety, Excellence, Efficiency, Innovation, and integrity as our core principles.

Water Quality

Many Jefferson County residents receive their drinking water from private wells. Well, owners must be aware of both manmade and naturally occurring contaminants that could taint the quality of their healthy water for drinking, cooking, and making ice. Infants, children, older adults, and those with medical conditions are at increased risk from consuming contaminated water. At Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH), testing can be performed for bacteria contamination as well as other chemicals; well owners may collect a sample kit on Monday through Thursday between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm from JCDH to test their healthy water from Monday JCDH between 8:00 am to 4:00 pm JCDH is capable of testing for bacteria contamination as well as chemical contaminants for fit owners testing purposes JCDH offers testing services Monday through Thursday between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm for testing of healthy water contaminated samples taken directly from beneficial owners’ wells supply source. Well, owners may pick up their kit between Monday 8:00 am and 4:00 pm from JCDH Monday- Thursday between 8:00 am-4 pm during our hours of operation between 8:00 am-4:00 pm Monday- Thursday between 8:00 am- 4:00 pm Monday- Thursday between 8 am-4.00 pm from JCDH Monday- Thursday between 8:00 am-4.00 pm from Monday- Thursday between 8 am- 4:00 pm Monday- Thursday between 8:00 am-4.00 pm when healthy owners may pick one-fourth between 8 am-4.00 pm so you may test it from us and Thursday 8.00 am-4 pm from us between 4:00 pm between Monday through Thursday between 8 pm for testing from Monday 8 pm Monday thru Thursday 9-4:00 pm-4 pm from them! -400pm from us

JCDH also conducts water quality monitoring projects across the county. These efforts involve testing for fecal coliforms in rivers and streams and collecting surface water samples for analysis, with results reported back to the Department of Ecology and used by agencies and individuals for decision-making regarding the environmental health of our local waterways.

Additionally, our laboratory offers water sampling for bacteriological testing and screenings of drinking water for common elements and chemicals. While these screenings are less precise than complete chemical analyses, they alert the public if there are potential issues with their drinking water supply.

JCDH encourages healthy living through immunizations, laboratory tests, and screenings for HIV, Hep C, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. We are also an advocate for our communities by working closely with other organizations to support community priorities and concerns. JCDH staff strive to uphold our core values of Caring, Safety, Excellence, Innovation, and Integrity in all their work done for Jefferson County communities; their actions and work ethic reflect this dedication towards caring and serving them better than anyone else can. Ultimately, our vision is that all Jefferson County communities will proactively prevent illness by actively protecting and promoting their health while accessing high-quality, cost-effective public health services.