On-Site Sewage | Land Disposal of Septage | Drinking Water
Food Service | Tourist Accommodations | Public Swimming Pools
Body Art Studios | Rabies Control | Injury Prevention


Environmental Health provides primary prevention through a combination of surveillance, education, enforcement, and assessment programs designed to identify, prevent and abate the environmental conditions that adversely impact human health.

Each county health department has at least one environmental health specialist. For specific questions please contact your county health department.

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A major factor influencing the health of individuals where public or community sewerage is not available is the proper treatment and disposal of human wastes and other sewage, including industrial and processing waste. Many diseases, such as dysentery, infectious hepatitis, typhoid and paratyphoid, and various types of gastrointestinal problems are transmitted from one person to another through the fecal contamination of food and water, largely due to the improper disposal of human wastes. Chemical contaminants affecting individuals through individual drinking water supplies have been attributed to groundwater pollution caused by improper subsurface disposal of on-site sewage. Because of such problems, every effort shall be made to prevent the existence of these and other potential health hazards.

Safe disposal of all wastes, human, domestic and industrial, is necessary to protect the health of the individual family and the community and to prevent the occurrence of nuisances. Basically, to accomplish satisfactory results, all such wastes must be disposed of in such a manner that:

  • They will not contaminate any approved drinking water supply.

  • They will not give rise to a public health hazard by being accessible to insects, rodents, or other possible carriers of disease which may come into contact with food or drinking water.

  • They will not give rise to a public health hazard by being accessible to children.

  • They will not violate laws or regulations governing water pollution or sewage disposal.

  • They will not pollute or contaminate the waters of any bathing beach, shellfish breeding ground or stream or lake used for public or domestic water supply or for recreational purposes.

  • They will not give rise to a nuisance due to odors or unsightly appearance.

Where public or community sewage disposal systems are not accessible, these criteria can be met by the discharge of sewage to an adequate on-site sewage management system. Such a system, properly designed and maintained, and properly installed where soil and site conditions are favorable, can be expected to function satisfactorily.

Experience through the years has shown that adequate supervision, inspection and maintenance are required to insure compliance in this respect.

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Disposal of domestic septage by land application shall only be applied to land with a low potential for public exposure. This is land that the public uses infrequently, which includes but is not limited to agricultural land, forests and reclamation sites located in sparsely populated areas.

For land disposal, consideration shall be given to soil characteristics, seasonal groundwater levels, percolation rates, slope, loading criteria, agricultural needs and nitrogen requirements.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a land disposal site without having first obtained a valid permit from the County Board of Health.

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Upon request by the property owner, the Health Authority will sample the supply to determine bacteriological quality of the private individual well water, provided the well construction meets all regulatory requirements. Sampling of unapproved or non-complying wells shall be at the Health Authority's discretion. A sample is considered satisfactory and meeting the minimum bacteriological quality limits of this regulation if one (1) or less coliform bacterium per one hundred (100) milliliter of sample is present.

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The purpose of the Food Service Inspection Program is to minimize potential food-borne illnesses. There are approximately 952 permitted food service establishments within the Southeast Health District. Each establishment is evaluated a minimum of twice per year. Food handling, proper storage, holding temperatures, proper cooking, and sanitation are some of the areas emphasized during the inspections. Food safety presentations and classes are also offered by the health departments.

Food and Tourist Accommodation Inspections

To access a specific county's most current Food and Tourist Accommodation Inspections, please click on a county below.











Jeff Davis






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The purpose of the Tourist Accommodation Program is to minimize illnesses and injuries associated with unsanitary or hazardous conditions in Georgia's tourist accommodations.

  • Regulation and inspection of more than 90 tourist accommodations.

  • Investigation of complaints.

  • Education and training for tourist accommodation employees and managers.

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Swimming Pools are inspected by Environmental Health Section of the County Health Department. Pools are inspected at least twice annually and throughout the season as deemed necessary by the Health Authority. Inspections are based on the Rules and Regulations for operating a public swimming pool in Georgia (Chapter 290-5-57).

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The purpose of these rules and regulations is to establish reasonable standards for individuals performing tattoo and body piercing procedures and for the facilities from which the procedures are provided. Such standards should insure the health and safety of all individuals performing and receiving these services.

These regulations do not apply to a physician or osteopath licensed under Chapter 34 of Title 43, or a technician acting under the direct supervision of such licensed physician or osteopath.

No person shall practice body art procedures without first obtaining an operator/artist permit from the County Health Department.

No one under the age of eighteen (18) shall be tattooed. The tattooing of a minor is prohibited in the State of Georgia.

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Human rabies is a completely preventable disease if the risk of acquisition is appreciated and appropriate rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (consisting of both active and passive immunization) is obtained. Because rabies is a fatal disease, the goal of public health (in coordination with the medical community) is, first, to prevent human exposure to rabies by education and, second, to prevent the disease by administering rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if exposure occurs. Tens of thousands of people are successfully treated each year after being bitten by an animal that may have rabies. Although the decision to provide post-exposure prophylaxis rests with the patient and his or her physician, valuable consultations can be provided by the Georgia Poison Center, local health departments, or the Epidemiology Branch, Georgia Division of Public Health. All animal bites should be reported to the local health department.

A healthy dog, cat, or ferret that bites a person should be quarantined for 10 days, no matter if the animal is currently vaccinated or not. Administration of rabies vaccine is not recommended during the quarantine period. Quarantine conditions should prevent direct contact with other animals or persons. The quarantine shall be conducted under the authority of the designated local rabies control agency in which the place, manner, and provisions of the quarantine are specified. For example, quarantine may take place in a kennel in a veterinary hospital, animal control facility, commercial boarding establishment or a pen at home, depending on local requirements. At the first sign of illness or behavioral change in the animal, the local rabies control agency should be notified and the animal should be evaluated by a veterinarian. If clinical signs are suggestive of rabies, the animal should be immediately euthanized and tested for rabies. Any stray or unwanted dog, cat, or ferret that bites a person may be euthanized immediately (or following the locally-specified impoundment period to give owners sufficient time to claim animals) and the head submitted for rabies examination.

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The Injury Prevention Section is housed within the Georgia Department of Human Resources/Division of Public Health (DHR/DPH), under the Environmental Health and Injury Prevention Branch. The main functions of the Section include:

  • The provision of technical assistance in program evaluation and coalition building to local community groups

  • The provision of injury data to community groups and the public at large

  • The distribution of safety equipment such as child safety seats, bike helmets, smoke detectors and the dissemination of knowledge on proper use of safety equipment, and

  • The provision of general support to local coalition in helping promote safe and injury free life styles and behaviors.

Some counties within the Southeast Health District are involved in the Child Occupant Safety and Education Program. The program focuses on the prevention of injury through child safety seat education and the hands-on training of parents and caregivers. By utilizing collaborative relationships with community stakeholders the program seeks to promote sustainability.

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Southeast Health District
1101 Church Street
Waycross, GA 31501
P: 912-285-6002
F: 912-284-2980


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