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Environmental Health

Mercer County Health Department provides environmental health services to ensure the safety of the public and the protection of the community. To better serve the public, office hours have been set for those individuals who need to meet with a health environmentalist.

On-Site Sewage

On-Site Sewage sometimes referred to as private sewage includes septic systems for any type of establishment that cannot access municipal sewage systems. These include homes, businesses, schools, restaurants and many others and are regulated by the health department. This includes new installations and repairs made to existing systems.

The regulating process is two stages, the first is an On-Site Soil Evaluation and the second is the Permit to Construct the system. The On-Site Soil Evaluation consists of several environmental factors that contribute to the functionality of a septic system. This will let you know if the lot is suitable for the structure to be built. The Permit to Construct an on-site sewage system is a detailed plan describing all necessary steps and requirements for the installation of the system. The permit can only be obtained by a Kentucky Certified Installer or home owner that will be installing the system. During the installation process, the system will be inspected to ensure that all components and the construction meet the Kentucky Code.

Plumbing permits are only available through the State Plumbing Inspector. The health department cannot issue a plumbing permit. An onsite sewage permit must be obtained prior to receiving a plumbing permit.

Find our local list of certified onsite septic installers

Public Facilities Inspections

Public Facilities Inspections are performed on Schools, Hotel/Motels, Mobile Home/RV Parks, Public Swimming Pools, Tattoo Studios as well as other facilities. State law requires that the facilities listed above and others not listed be permitted through the health department and be inspected annually, bi-annually or on complaint basis. They are inspected to ensure that the facilities are kept in a sanitary condition to prevent sickness/disease or injury and also kept in good repair.

If more information is needed or if there is an interest in opening a type of public facility, contact our Health Environmentalists.

Regulated Food Establishments

Regulated Food Establishments that serve the public are required by law to be permitted by the local health department. Some of the types of included establishments are restaurants, grocery stores, school and hospital cafeterias as well as several others. These facilities are inspected on either an annual, bi-annual or complaint basis. Scores for food establishments are based on a 100 point system and are public information.

If you are interested in starting a food service establishment, a Health Environmentalist will be able to give specific information relevant to the food service type. 

Public Health Nuisance

Public Health Nuisance items include mosquito control, rodent and insect control, surfacing sewage, household garbage disposal and any other unsanitary conditions that affect public health. Complaints of a public health nuisance are kept confidential and are properly investigated by our health environmentalists.

The Rabies program

The Rabies program is responsible for identifying exposure of humans to animals which may possibly have rabies.
There are two methods utilized to identify rabies in animals. One method is through a quarantine process which keeps the animal isolated for a specific time period while being observed for symptoms of the disease. The other is through clinical testing where as the animal is destroyed and the brain tissue is analyzed for the disease. All animal bite exposures should be reported to the local health department.

Septic Tank Servicing Companies

Septic Tank Servicing Companies are regulated by the health department and are required to be bonded and insured. They are inspected annually to ensure that they are meeting sanitary and safety guidelines set by the state. All septic tank servicing companies must be permitted by the health department before conducting service. For information on the permitting requirements, contact the health department.

Environmental Office Hours​

Monday – Friday

8:00 to 9:00 am
12:30 am to 1:30 pm

Ben White RS/REHS

Environmentalist III
859-734-2229 Ext. 134

Kevin Gabhart RS/REHS

Environmentalist lll
859-734-2229 Ext. 142

The Mercer County Health Department is accepting applications for a full time Public Health Nurse I
General Duties include:
This position serves under the direction of the Director. Responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to: Provides entry-level nursing functions and services to individuals and families under close supervision in a clinic or community setting, focusing on the prevention of illness, injury or disability, the promotion of health and maintenance of the health of populations. The nurse in this classification would receive job specific training in the requirements and scope of practice of the various assigned health department programs and services.Health department services are provided to all age populations. A brief description of health department services include adult and child immunizations, well child examinations, family planning exams, WIC services/promotion, dental varnish for children, pandemic response, public health preparedness, basic patient care, harm reduction services and promotion of the health department within the community.
Minimum Education, Training or Experience:
See special requirements.
Special Requirements:
(Age, Licensure, Regulation, Etc.) Must have RN license in Kentucky or compact state or provisional license in Kentucky, meeting all requirements of KRS 314.041.
Starting Salary:
$20.30-$25.24/hr negotiable with additional experience. Grade 17
Apply at https://KOG.CHFS.KY.GOV/HOME. Create a citizen account and search LHDCOS (search and apply) Completed application must be submitted by November 11, 2022. Transcripts must be provided before the close date if post-secondary education is required or may be substituted for experience. Transcripts must list the degree awarded.  Qualified applicants/employees are subject to a pre-screening, selection for interview, and/or demonstration of skills testing.  Employment may be contingent upon a successful drug screening and background check.  Equal Opportunity Employer.