Environmental Health Services
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 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. Also, go to http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/phps/food.htm for the guidance on Food Establishments and Food Safety.
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.