DEH and Sanctuary Forest produce the 2021 Water Efficiency Workshop
On Sept. 28, 2021, DEH and the Humboldt County Drought Task Force held a Zoom-based 2021 Water Efficiency Workshop featuring Tasha McKee and April Newlander of Sanctuary Forest. McKee talked about water conservation, river protection successes through educational efforts, developing partnerships with community members and facilitating forbearance for those living and working in the Mattole River watershed. She shared a Power Point presentation, PDF available here.
County Chief Building Official Keith Ingersoll and DEH Senior Environmental Health Specialist Joey Whittlesey also participated. Ingersoll and Whittlesey described water saving permit programs available through the county including: Rainwater catchment, storage tanks, greywater systems and waterless toilet systems. View a recording of the meeting here (Youtube).
Drought Raises Public Health Concerns
Under drought conditions, groundwater supplies and reduced stream flows increase the concentration of pollutants in water and cause stagnation and elevated water temperatures. Warmer waters increase the growth of some pathogens and harmful algal blooms, leading to reduced oxygen levels that threaten aquatic life and can be harmful to animals and people. As a result, drinking water supplied from private wells and surface water diversions may be at higher risk for drought-related infectious disease.
As drought conditions persist, some water supply sources may experience diminished production or may fail to produce altogether. Any residents using private water supplies and experiencing water shortages are encouraged to use the California Department of Water Resources’ reporting tool: mydrywatersupply.water.ca.gov/report. DEH staff can assist in submitting this report on behalf of those with limited internet accessibility. If you are currently experiencing an emergency water shortage or your domestic water supply has gone dry, contact DEH immediately for guidance in servicing or replacing the impacted source.
COVID-19: Safety and Other Information for Operators
- Food Delivery Safety (PDF)
- California Disaster Relief Food Safety Training. A free, 22-minute tutorial from statefoodsafety.com that can be used to train charitable feeding and disaster relief volunteers on how to safely serve food in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Environmental Health COVID-19 Food Facility Risk Mitigation (PDF)
- Environmental Health Fiscal - COVID-19 non-compliance (PDF)
- Center for Disease Control: What to do if you have COVID-19
- Interim Guidance for Restaurants Offering Grocery-Type Sales During COVID-19 Crisis (PDF)
- Body Art Facilities COVID19 infographic (PDF)
- Public Swimming Pools COVID19 infographic (PDF)
The Humboldt County Division of Environmental Health plays a critical role in disease prevention. Safe drinking water, pollution, proper sewage disposal, foodborne illness outbreaks, childhood lead poisoning, hazardous materials spills and solid /hazardous waste management can present challenges to our communities.
The goal of Environmental Health is to protect the health, safety and well-being of the public, and to preserve and improve the quality of the environment.
Environmental Health Programs
- Consumer Protection Program
- Retail Food Facilities
- Organized Camps Program
- Public Swimming and Spa Pools Program
- Recreational Water and Drinking Water Programs
- Tattoo Business Registration
- Hazardous Materials Unit
- Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA)
- Land Use Program
- Sewage Disposal Systems
- Wells and Water Systems
- Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency Program
- Inspection of Solid Waste Operations and Facilities
- Vector Control Program
- Rabies Control
- West Nile Virus
- Rodents and Insect Control
- More about Environmental Health Programs
Early in the 20th century, infections associated with overcrowding, poor housing and contaminated water resulted in transmission of tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid fever, and dysentery.
Improvements in housing, public water supplies - including chlorination and filtration, and waste-disposal systems have resulted in great progress in disease control. While the impact of these diseases has been reduced, the need for prevention remains as strong as ever.