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In Mecklenburg County, Environmental Health incorporates four major programs which include, Food and Facilities Sanitation, Groundwater and Wastewater Services, Institutional Sanitation, as well as Public Swimming Pools and other Environmental Health Sanitation. The Environmental Health Specialist must be Registered by the State of North Carolina and meet authorization requirements set by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
The Environmental Analyst will need a degree in Public Health, Environmental Health, Environmental Science, Geographical Information Systems or a related field. The Analyst will need two years of related Environmental Database or Geographical Information system experience. They will need to understand workflow processes associated with environmental compliance. This position will work across many program areas in Environmental Health.
The Plans Examiner must meet all the requirements of an Environmental Health Specialist and have five years experience in Food & Facilities or Public Swimming Pools. This position will work across many program areas in Environmental Health.
The Soil Scientist must meet all the requirements of an Environmental Health Specialist and licensure as a Soil Scientist in the State of North Carolina is required. This position works in Groundwater & Wastewater Services.
The Hydrogeologist will need a degree in Geology, Hydrogeology, Engineering or a closely related field. Licensure as a North Carolina Professional Geologist is required. This position works in Groundwater & Wastewater Services.
Environmental Health Specialists are responsible for ensuring the safe handling and preparation of food to prevent the spread of disease. In doing so, the EHS conducts hundreds of restaurant inspections a year using the FDA Food Code. Items that they look for are things like handwashing, food storage and dating, preparation and protection against cross-contamination, temperature abuse, as well as others. Plans Examiners approve the plans for new or remodeled restaurants.
Institutional Sanitation involves the monitoring of the health and well-being of people residing in or receiving temporary care from facilities such as Public/Private Schools, Nursing Homes, Daycares, and Correctional Institutions.
Monitoring health and wellbeing involves conducting inspections to look for such things as proper sanitation of items such as bedding, furniture, toys, and bathroom facilities. Environmental Health Specialists also ensure the prevention and/or the spread of disease by eliminating cross-contamination, using proper handwashing, sanitizing with the approved chemical sanitizers, and educating staff and facility management.
The spread of disease through wastewater has been well documented throughout history. Proper waste disposal is crucial to maintaining proper health.
In areas with no access to public sewers, septic systems are a safe alternative to the disposal of effluent waste. Septic systems allow for the proper disposal of effluent through the use of septic tanks and drain fields. In this manner waste is disposed of safely by a process which uses septic tanks and leach fields. Within the tank, the solids are separated from liquids before the remaining liquids transfer into leach fields. The fields equally distribute the effluent waste into the ground to be naturally filtered by the soil. Environmental Health Specialists and Soil Scientists are tasked with permitting, inspecting, and overseeing the construction of these systems.
Wells come in different types. There are irrigation wells, monitoring wells, and drinking water wells. However, all wells must be drilled properly to protect aquifers and drinking water supplies. To protect drinking water, wells are drilled and installed to rigorous standards. Wells are permitted and inspected by Environmental Health staff and tested for potability. Only then, can a well be used as a drinking water supply. Hydrogeologists investigate areas where the groundwater is contaminated and identify impacts to existing wells and potential impacts to
In Mecklenburg County, several environmental health concerns are placed under the umbrella of Pools and Environmental Health Services. As the name suggests, public swimming pools are included under this program. Also included are tattoos, vector control, and mosquito control.
Swimming pools are inspected to check for items such as water chemistry, suction hazards, safety equipment, and warning signs (such as "No lifeguard on duty"). Plans examiners approve the plans for new or remodeled public swimming pools.
The process of tattooing involves many risks, and is inspected for the tattooing procedure itself to ensure the prevention of blood borne pathogens.
Vector and Mosquito control issues are monitored for things such as overpopulation of disease carrying rodents and mosquitoes.
Mecklenburg County Public Health encourages all eligible residents ages 12 and older to get a free COVID-19 vaccination.