Mission: To protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts
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The Florida Department of Health in Nassau County Environmental Health seeks to protect, promote, and enhance the health and well-being of the public and the environment through the application of scientific principles, education, and environmental health laws and regulations.
Environmental Health Specialists perform food hygiene, group care, tattoo, body art, mobile home park and tanning facility sanitation inspections; conduct on-site soil evaluations and inspections of septic systems; perform bacteriological and chemical sampling of public and private wells; ensure the proper handling and disposal of biomedical waste; conduct zoonotic disease and rabies investigations, and public swimming pool sanitation inspections. Environmental Health Specialists also monitor and permit public drinking water systems and perform well surveillance sampling. An equally important function of Environmental Health is to provide timely advice and information to the public, businesses, and other governmental agencies on public health issues and concerns. This is especially critical when the health of Nassau County residents and visitors is threatened during emergencies such as hurricanes, fires, floods, hazardous materials incidents, sewage spills and outbreaks of disease.
You may bring your water samples to our Environmental Health Office.
Drop off sample(s) by 10:30 a.m.
To learn more of what we do for you click on one of the topics below:
- Foodborne Illness/Restaurant Complaint Form
- Florida Department of Health - Division of Environmental Health
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The Florida Department of Health in Nassau County Environmental Health office works closely with local governments to stop problems before they happen. We approach all problems by being educators first and regulators second.Our Health Department is participating in a State sponsored beachwater sampling program called Florida Healthy Beaches Program. Concurrent with this State sponsored program is a study initiated by the Nassau County Health Department in November 1996 to accumulate microbiological data on the beachside swimming areas on Amelia Island. This data is being analyzed and the program modified as a result. The results of this program are posted in the Florida Health Beach Water website on a routine basis.
Because of the age of many of the subdivisions within our area, the majority of our work in the onsite sewage program is the permitting of existing system repairs. These often provide an interesting challenge as many of the subdivisions are burdened with high density, high water tables, wells on site and in many cases surface water. This office has encouraged connection to city sewer whenever possible in these problem areas.
- Animal Rabies Investigations. The Animal Bite (Rabies Investigations) program helps stop the spread of rabies in the community by investigating animal bites to humans. It is also possible, but quite rare, that people may get rabies if infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, gets directly into their eyes, nose, mouth or a wound.
- Biomedical Waste. Environmental Health monitors the proper handling, labeling, storage, treatment and disposal of biomedical waste to eliminate the exposure to employees, patients and the public from disease-causing agents. Used needles, syringes and other biomedical waste were washing up on Florida's pristine beaches. In response, the Florida Legislature passed one of the country's first biomedical waste rules. The rule and forms for this program are available from the Florida Department of Health Biomedical Waste Program website.
- Body Piercing. Body piercing is an invasive procedure that presents the potential for infection. Not only can piercing lead to infections of the pierced site (especially if aftercare procedures are not followed), but it also has the potential to transmit bloodborne pathogens, such as Hepatitis B. The Florida Department of Health urges individuals to be aware of the risks associated with getting a temporary black henna tattoo as the Department has received reports of allergic reactions and injuries, including permanent scaring of the skin from temporary black henna tattoos that are popular with those who want to enjoy a temporary tattoo. Read about these Henna tattoo's at http://www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/tattooing/black-henna1.html
Hygiene. The Department of Health works with food service establishments as defined by s. 381.0072, Florida Statute to help ensure their products are not a source of foodborne illness. Generally this includes food service operations located in institutional settings (such as schools, assisted living facilities, detention facilities, adult day cares, etc.), civic and fraternal organizations, bars and lounges that don't prepare foods, and theaters that limit their food service to items customarily served at theaters (such as beverages, pop corn, hot dogs and nachos). The codes and standards for food service establishments are found in Chapter 64E-11), Florida Administrative Code. Visit the Florida Department of Health website for more information.
- Healthy Beaches - Coastal Recreational Beach Monitoring and Research. The authority and funding for this program comes from the State Healthy Beaches Program which was enacted through State legislation in August of 2000 and includes all 34 of Florida's coastal counties. View the Environmental Health Program Manual DOHM 150-4-13
- Indoor Air Quality/Toxic Substances. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average American is indoors nearly 90 percent of the time. Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma or cause acute symptoms like headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. While chemical pollutants such as radon gas or formaldehyde are of concern, pollutants of biological origin are the most prevalent in homes. Common pollutants include molds, bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust mites and pets.
- Institutional Health. The following programs are designed to protect the public from environmental dangers that may cause illness or injury when they are in care of a residential setting outside of their own home. Below is a listing of the types of different Residential Care & School Facilities that we inspect. Following the type of facility is the licensing agency that grants the facility their license to operate. Finally, a link to that agency’s website that will give you more information on how to open or operate that type of facility.
- Assisted Living Facility (Agency for Health Care Administration: ALF Licensing Information)
- Adult Family Care Homes (AHCA: AFCH Licensing Information)
- Residential Group Home (Agency for Persons with Disabilities: APD: Residential Group Home Information or Department of Children and Family services: DCF: Residential Group Home Information)
- Adult Day Care (ACHA: Adult Day Care Information
- Crisis Stabilization Units (ACHA: Crisis Stabilization Units Information)
- Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled (ACHA: Developmentally Disabled Facility Information )
- Residential Drug Treatment Center (DCF: Residential Drug Treatment Information)
- Transitional Living Facility (ACHA: TLF Information)
- Schools: Public and Private (Department of Education)
- Child Care (Day Care DCF: Child Care Information)
- Family Foster Home (DCF: Foster Care Information)
- PACE-EH. For several years, the Bureau of Environmental Health has supported county health departments to work with their communities and address environmental health concerns. Collectively, the county health departments across Florida who have implemented PACE EH in communities have become a national model and provided evidence that communities identify built environment and urban planning issues as environmental health issues.
- Pollutant Storage Tank Compliance and Cleanup.
The Florida Legislature enacted the SUPER Act (Chapter 376.3071, Florida Statutes) in response to ground water contamination resulting from leaking underground petroleum storage tanks. Locally our program conducts well surveillance in potentially impacted areas, notifies the public of potential adverse health effects and provides assistance in obtaining alternative sources of drinking water.
- Public Drinking Water & Safe Drinking Water. The St. Johns Water Management District has delegated the Nassau County Health Department as the Approved agency to issue Potable Well, Irrigation Well and Abandonment of Well permits in Nassau County.
- Public Swimming Pool Construction Engineering Review and Pool Inspections.Staff routinely inspect public swimming pools and spas which serve hotels, condominiums, apartment buildings, and other public facilities. Inspections are conducted to check on such items as water chemistry, safety equipment, and pump room equipment. You can find the most updated forms for this program on the Florida Department of Health website.
- Septic Tanks. Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), commonly referred to as septic systems, are a safe and effective means of wastewater disposal for 30 percent of Florida’s population. With an estimated 2.6 million systems in operation, Florida represents 12 percent of the United States’ septic systems. Properly designed, constructed, and maintained systems protect Florida’s ground water which provides 90 percent of Florida’s drinking water. You can find the latest information and forms for this program at the Florida Department of Healh website.