Environmental Health

Environmental Health

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Environmental Health Services (EHS) unit administers a number of programs and services to help protect health through the promotion of environmentally sound practices.

Specifically, EHS:

  • Licenses and inspects food service establishments, investigates foodborne illness outbreaks and conducts food safety education classes
  • Issues permits for on-site sewage disposal systems and evaluates subdivisions and condominium developments
  • Indoor air information including Lead, Radon and Asbestos
  • Issues permits for on-site water systems, licenses public swimming pools and conducts water testing for drinking, swimming pools, and public beaches
  • Inspects day care centers, foster homes, group homes, and campgrounds
  • Issues permits and conducts safety classes for body art practitioners and establishments
  • Evaluates rodent and insect complaints
  • Investigates radiological contamination
  • Investigates infectious diseases outbreaks
$Expand=File&$orderby=Order asc
For public health safety, please be aware of the following
  • Radon: Learn about Radon sources and ways to reduce it in your home. 
  • Lead Poisoning: Information about lead poisoning and ways to reduce exposure in your home and to your children. 
  • Ozone Action Days: Learn what you can do to reduce air pollution. 
  • Mold: Learn what to do if you suspect you have mold in your home or workplace.

The proper disposal of solid, liquid and sewage wastes is crucial to prevent contamination to the land and the groundwater below. 

The use of sewers and municipal sewage treatment plants is limited to areas where infrastructure exists. On-site sewage disposal is the only viable alternative in areas not serviced by municipal sewers. Oakland County has over 80,000 onsite sewage disposal systems on residential and commercial properties.

The Environmental Health Services Unit protects land resources by offering the following services:

  • Issues permits and conducts construction and final inspections for the installation of residential and non residential on-site sewage disposal systems.
  • Reviews and conducts site evaluations for all of Oakland County's proposed subdivisions and site-condo projects in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment (MDNRE).
  • Assists in the licensing of septic cleaning trucks by inspecting and make recommendations to MDNRE. 
Food Safety Program,

The Food Safety Program provides a number of services to ensure the proper handling and distribution of food served to the general public.  This includes:

Food Service License Information

Body Art,

BODY ART FEES (does not include State license fee)

  • Body Art Establishment License Annual Fee: $150
  • Temporary Body Art Establishment License: $50
  • Plan Review: $75
  • Inspection Fee: $55
  • Class Fee: $25
  • Body Art Practitioner Permit: $50
Shelter Programs,

The Environmental Health Services Unit protects shelter environments through regulatory inspections of child care and adult foster care facilities, recommendations for school and playground safety, and education for County residents and home owners.

We also respond to complaints and follow through with a resolution or referral to other state or local agencies having jurisdiction.

Child/Adult Care Facility Inspection Fees

  • Partial Inspection: $100
  • Full Inspection: $170
  • Plan Review (includes Opening Inspection): $300
Well and Water Services ,
Swimming Pools,

Proper treatment of swimming pool water is crucial to preventing water-related illness.  The Environmental Health Services Unit inspects over 900 indoor pools, outdoor pools, and spas annually and works with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to open new facilities in the county.

The State Swimming Pool Law explains facility general provisions, construction, operation and use. The DEQ is responsible for reviewing plans for new facilities and can be reached at (517) 241-1353 or at sissonp@michigan.gov

Swimming Pool Seasonal Opening Checklist

Swimming Pool Operator Obligations


  • Swimming Pool Annual Inspection: $66
  • Swimming Pool Multiple Follow-up Inspection: $16

In addition to the Oakland County inspection fee, make sure that all licensure fees are paid through the MDEQ.


Public swimming pool samples having a DEQ/OCHD issued pool ID recorded on the appropriate yellow form are EXEMPT from the new water testing fees that went into effect on January 1, 2012.

As the swimming pool operator, you have many tasks. There are three main obligations of a public swimming pool operator required by law. They are:

  • Collection and submission of water samples quarterly for bacteriologic analysis.
  • Submission of operational report to OCHD at the end of each month.
  • Personnel readily available within 15 minutes.

Collection of quarterly water samples for bacteria is critical as an indicator that the pool operation and maintenance are keeping bacteria levels in check.  If results are unacceptable, re-sampling is required.  Repeated unsatisfactory water sample results could lead to closure.  OCHD will require that pool water must be submitted for testing each quarter for bacterial analysis.  Sample bottles should be fresh and proper sampling techniques followed.

Drop-off sites are located at each OCHD office. Several municipalities also have drop-off locations:

  • Farmington Hills City Hall
  • Troy Department of Public Works
  • Novi DPS
  • Madison Heights Department of Public Services
  • Wixom City Hall (summer only)
  • Orion Township Department of Public Works
  • Lyon Township Hall
  • Ortonville Village Office
Please call ahead to verify pick-up times.

Operational Reports must be completed on a daily basis. These forms, available at Health Division offices, are used to record sanitizer residuals three times per day as well as pH, flow rates, cleaning, water temperature, and chemical addition. A copy must be sent to OCHD at the end of each month of operation.

Qualified personnel must be available during all hours in which a swimming pool is open. This person must be available within 15 minutes of arrival. This individual should be responsible for testing water quality and operating equipment for water treatment and circulation.

Related Links

Community Health,
  • New Residential Septic Permit (vacant land): $250
  • Repair Residential Septic Permit (Repair/Replace): $170
  • Public/Commercial (1-1,999 gallons/day): $360
  • Public/Commercial (2,000-10,000 gallons/day): $720
  • Re-inspection Fee (beyond 1st follow-up): $55
  • Permit Modification Fee(changes to permit after issuance):  $90
  • Septic System Engineered Plan Review(includes 1st review and 1 revision): $100
  • Manufacturer Engineered & Alternative System Technology Review (One Time Fee): $360
  • Residential Engineered & Alternative Systems Operation Annual Review Fee(Deed Restricted for Continuous Maintenance): $50

Sewage Disposal System Installer Licensing 

Soil Evalulation (Perc Test),

Site & Soil Review Fees 

  • Pre-Preliminary Plat(Review of Soils, On-Site Sewage Disposal Facilities): $135 + $25/each 5 acres or fraction thereof
  • Preliminary Plat(Review of Soils, On-Site Sewage Disposal Facilities): $250 + $25 each lot
  • Plat Review 1-100 Lots: $75
  • Plat Review Over 100 Lots: $150

How do I arrange for a "Perc" soil evaluation test?

Obtain, complete and return an application for a permit to install or repair a sewage disposal system. Include a check for the proper fee. This application can be obtained and returned to either of our two offices located in Pontiac and Southfield.

Arrange for a back hoe to dig holes on your property for the soil evaluation. At this time a Sanitarian from the Health Division should be present. Scheduling of the Sanitarian can be done by phone.

What happens after the "Perc" Test?

If everything is proper with the application, and the conditions on the property are acceptable (soils, water table, space), a permit to install a sewage disposal system is issued.

If there are problems with the application or the soils, several things can take place:

  • The application can be placed on hold until the problems are resolved.
  • If the problems can not be resolved, the property would be denied a septic permit.
  • Denial of the application entitles the applicant to appeal the decision to the Oakland County Sanitary Code Appeals Board, with the appropriate request and fee.
  • The appeals board can issue the permit or uphold the denial. If it is denied Circuit Court is the only appeal that can be initiated.

Does my septic system need inspections?

Yes, inspections needed are noted on the permit. If special inspections are not noted, then a final "before covering" inspection is the only one needed.

Where can I locate copies of the septic permit and inspections?

Permits and inspections are kept in our three offices for 18 years. Some local departments may also have copies. Once obtained, these copies should be placed with other important household documents. These copies will help you locate parts of your septic system in the future.

How often does my septic system need to be pumped?

It depends on usage (family size, garbage disposal, laundry, etc.). Generally, a new system should be pumped after two to three years. At that time, it should be evaluated for depth of solids. Pumping frequency could be lengthened or shortened based on this evaluation. The condition of the septic tank outlet elbow should also be evaluated at this time.

Do I need to add anything to my septic tank to get the bacteria started?

No, normal bacteria contained in sewage is sufficient to start the bacterial digestion occurring in the tank. We do not recommend the placement of water softener discharge lines in the septic tank.

Who reviews subdivisions and site condominium developments?

Subdivisions and site condominium (site condo) developments are reviewed by Environmental Health Services before they are approved.  The developments that are on septic systems and private wells are extensively reviewed for the proper soils and protected and adequate water supplies before development occurs.  Office reviews are conducted for those developments using sewer and city water.

Where can I find out information on old dumps and landfills?

The Oakland County Health Division has many files as well as the MDEQ. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) these files are available for review. Call 248-858-1312 (Pontiac) or 248-424-7190 (Southfield) for information on how to obtain this information.

I need to take something to the landfill. Where are they located in Oakland County?

Eagle Valley
600 West Silverbell
Orion Township
Phone: 248-391-0990

Wayne Disposal-Oakland
2350 Brown Road
Auburn Hills
Phone: 248-373-2334

Pontiac City Landfill (Pontiac City residents only)
Collier Road
Phone: 248-857-5701

In addition, a number of landfills are located in the surrounding region:

Genessee County

Citizens Disposal, Inc.
2361 West Grand Blanc Road
Grand Blanc
(US-23 at Grand Blanc Road)
Phone #: (810) 655-4207

Richfield Landfill, Inc.
11145 E. Mount Morris Rd.
Davison, MI 48423
Phone #: (810) 631-2321

Brent Run Landfill
8247 Vienna Rd.
Montrose, MI 48457
Phone #: (810) 639-3077

Washtenaw County

Onyx Arbor Hills Landfill 
10690 Six Mile Road
Northville, MI 48167
Phone #: (248) 349-7230

Wayne County

Sauk Trail Hills
5100 South Lilley Road
Canton, MI 48188
Phone #: (734) 397-2790

Woodland Meadows Recycling & Disposal Facility
5900 Hannan Road
Wayne, MI 48184
Phone #: (734) 326-0993

City of Livonia
32500 Glendale Ave.
Livonia, MI 48150
Phone #: (734) 466-2588

City of Riverview
20863 Grange Rd.
Riverview, MI 48193
Phone #: (734) 281-4263

Edward C Levy Co.
8800 Dix
Detroit, MI 48209
Phone #: (313) 843-7200

Republic Waste Services
36850 Van Born Rd.Wayne, MI 48184
Phone #: (734) 641-3555

Campground Inspection,

Campground - Permanent Campground Inspection Fees Only (does not include State License Fee)

  • 1 to 25 Sites: $50
  • 26 to 50 Sites: $50
  • 51 to 75 Sites: $50
  • 76 to 100 Sites: $50
  • 101 to 500 Sites: $50
  • 501+ Sites: $50
  • 1001+ Sites: $50

Campground - Temporary Campground License & Inspection Fees

  • 1 to 25 Sites: $119
  • 26 to 50 Sites: $149
  • 51 to 75 Sites: $179
  • 76 to 100 Sites: $209
  • 101 to 500 Sites: $298
  • 501+ Sites: $626
Beaches ,

The Oakland County Health Division Beach Monitoring Program for 2014 will begin on June 2nd and run until July 25th.  This year the County will be monitoring 73 public beaches on 55 different lakes.

The water collection and beach surveying are conducted by environmental health students hired by the County for summer internships. Water at each of the beaches is tested on a weekly basis, measuring for an indicator bacteria, E. Coli. As an indicator, if E. Coli is present, other, more harmful and harder to detect organisms could be present.

Monitored beaches are to meet the one day standard of 300 colonies per 100 milliliters of water AND the 30 day  geometric average standard of 130 colonies per 100 milliliters.  If a beach does not meet the water quality standard, it will be closed until satisfactory samples are obtained.  A listing of closed beaches can be obtained at:

What is normally done to ensure public swimming water is safe?

We conduct bathing beach sampling every summer during June and July. The water is tested for E-coli bacteria and judged against limits established by state law.

How often are the beaches tested?

Public beaches are tested annually. Public beaches sampled every year include government owned beaches (state, county, and city parks), commercial beaches (pay-to-swim beaches, country clubs, etc.), beaches at educational institutions and foster care homes, and children's camp beaches.

How do I know the water is safe if I live on the lake or swim at a private beach?

If you live on lakefront property, and choose to swim right at your house rather than at an established beach area, you need to know that the bacteria results from the beach area do not necessarily correspond to where you are swimming. Concerned homeowners that swim at private beaches are encouraged to conduct their own bacteria sampling. The procedure is very easy and our laboratory only charges $6 for a sampling kit as long as

  1. You are an Oakland County resident
  2. The source water to be tested is located within Oakland County, and
  3. The area to be sampled is a beach or intended for swimming. You may call our office and request a copy of our surface water sampling guidelines if you are interested.

What does testing for E-coli involve?

If you are conducting some sampling of your own, you will need to know the E-coli limits and the sampling schedule. It is important to understand that random, individual samples are not a reliable indicator of water quality. We are required by law to take a minimum of three samples each time we test a particular beach area. We will then calculate a daily geometric average (different from a normal arithmetic average) from those three samples, which must be below 300 E-coli to be considered safe for swimming. Sometimes one or two of the samples may be above 300, but the daily geometric average is below 300, so the beach is not closed. Also, if you want to get an accurate idea of your beach's overall water quality, you must sample on more than one occasion. The law requires a minimum of five sampling events (consisting of at least three samples per event) within a 30-day period to be considered a valid and reliable study of the water quality. After 30 days you need to calculate a seasonal geometric average for all of your individual samples within that time frame. This seasonal geometric average must be below 130 E-coli to be considered safe for swimming.

The beach on the other side of my lake was recently closed. If the lake is contaminated, why wasn't I notified and my beach closed?

It is a popular misconception that if one area of the lake is contaminated, then the whole lake is contaminated. This is not true. Bacteria contamination originates from conditions or factors present on or near the shore in the immediate vicinity of the beach. Two beaches on opposite ends of a lake that have different on-shore conditions will not have the same bacteria levels. This is why it is important for private homeowners who swim near their house to periodically take samples from where they swim and not rely on results from a beach down the road. Since contamination originates on-shore, it is generally considered to be safer in deeper areas away from the shoreline because wind direction and wave action could trap bacteria against the shore.

 Contact Us or Report

  • 248-858-1312 Pontiac
  • 248-424-7190 Southfield


Food Service License Application allows restaurant owners with establishments in Oakland County to renew licenses.

Septic Application allows homeowners or contractors to submit applications for septic permits.

Well Application allows homeowners or contractors to submit applications for well permits.

Well Log System

The Well Log System allows water well drilling contractors and pump installation contractors to fill out and submit the required well records online. Once a driller registers with the Well Log System, they have access to the high-tech Geographic Information System (GIS) Viewer. This online tool provides detailed views of land attributes, such as contamination areas, land elevations, water bodies, and neighboring wells.