Environmental Health

NOTICE: Environmental Health Fee Changes Effective January 16,2017

Union County Commissioners approved the Environmental Health fee changes below:

Food, Lodging and Institution Program Fees




Tattoo Permit:




On-Site Water Protection Program Fees


Improvement Permit Application*,**




(site evaluation for septic system approval)






Construction Authorization Permit

Type II c



(by system type):

Type III b




Type IV a




Type V




Type VI





Engineered Option Permit:

Per NC General Statute 130A-336.1 (n): 30% of the cumulative total fees to obtain an Improvement, Construction Authorization and Operation Permit for the type of on-site waste water system designed.


The maximum lot size evaluated per Improvement Permit (site evaluation) application is limited to 5.0 acres.


Property owner or applicant must provide a backhoe (minimum 2’ wide bucket) with trained operator for site evaluations performed on subdivisions of more than 5 lots. In lieu of a backhoe, the property owner or applicant may submit a soil and site evaluation report for each lot prepared by a North Carolina Licensed Soil Scientist. Proposed drain field areas must be identified by flagging tape on-site.



The Environmental Health Division of Union County Public Health endeavors to promote and protect public health by conducting daily activities designed to prevent disease, educate the public and enforce regulations. Three primary programs operate within Environmental Health: the Food, Lodging and Institutions Program, the Children’s Environmental Health Program and the On-site Water Protection Program.

Environmental Health Specialists in the Food, Lodging and Institutions Program conduct plan review, permitting and inspections of businesses that prepare and serve food. These facilities include restaurants, food stands, mobile food units, push carts, temporary food establishments, limited food service operations and others. Plan review, permitting and inspections are also performed on facilities such as hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, residential care homes, nursing homes, adult day care facilities, tattoo artists and public swimming pools.

Children’s Environmental Health strives to protect and improve the health of children by implementation of programs involved in reducing environmental risks in child care facilities, schools and camps. Children’s Environmental Health also includes childhood lead poisoning prevention. This program provides educational materials and referrals to community resources related to asthma, safety issues, mold and other indoor air quality concerns. Education is an important facet of the Children’s Environmental Health Program. Classes are available to child care and school personnel. Community partnerships are developed through this program to enhance child health.

The On-site Water Protection Program serves the community through the protection of surface and ground water supplies. Program staff educates citizens on water quality, contaminant issues and waterborne diseases. Environmental Health Specialists conduct soil and site evaluations to determine suitability for septic systems on both residential and commercial properties. This program is responsible for the design, permitting and inspection of new systems and the repair of existing sewage disposal systems. Other duties include responding to citizen complaints and performing existing system inspections. Existing system inspections are performed for homeowners who are constructing additions to their home including: bedrooms, decks, porches, detached buildings, swimming pools or rooms outside the existing foundation.

Permits are issued by the On-site Water Protection Program for the installation of new drinking and irrigation wells or for the repair of existing wells. Inspections of well installations and well water sampling are also conducted. Water samples can be tested for the following: bacteria, petroleum pesticides, herbicides, nitrates/nitrates and inorganics. The inorganic test includes evaluation for: pH, alkalinity, fluoride, chloride, calcium, magnesium, total hardness, manganese, lead, arsenic, copper, iron and zinc.

*Non-Discrimination Policy: All public health services are provided without regard to race, color, national origin, disability or handicap. 

Hours of Operation

Our office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday

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