Environmental Health

Laura Wells Environmental Health Director

Our role is to protect health that is based upon environmental influences. For information on the following services, please call 815-941-3115.  For inquires, comments, questions, or concerns, please email Laura Wells at environmentalhealth@grundycountyil.gov and please include your name, phone number, and brief message.

Key Changes to the Illinois Food Code

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Environmental Health
Environmental Health Fees As Of 12/1/2022
Environmental Health Fees as of 12/1/2022
Environmental Health Ordinances
Environmental Health Ordinances
Food Establishment Inspections Results
Food Program and Permit Applications
The Environmental Health Division performs the following functions within the Food Sanitation Program:

  • Reviews and approves plans for new and the remodeling of existing facilities.
  • Inspects and issues operating permits for all food handling and retail food store facilities.
  • Reviews food handling procedures and issues permits for temporary events.
  • Investigates foodborne illness reports and consumer complaints.
  • Provides training courses for food service managers and employees.

Permit Applications:

Click on the items below to view:

Additional Information:

Food and Water borne Illness Information:

Allergen Training and Information:

If you would like to make a payment, please click HERE.

(Code changes effective June 1,2012)

Cottage Food Operations:

The Cottage Food Operations Law went into effect on January 1, 2012. This new law allows certain foods made in home kitchens to be sold at local farmers’ markets with limited regulations.

Below are links to the Cottage Food Operation Law and the Technical Information Bulletin developed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In order to operate under this new law, you must adhere to the following:

  1. Obtain the Certified Food Protection Manager Certification.
  2. Register with the Grundy County Health Department (or department where your home is located) annually.
  3. Follow all the requirements of the law.
  4. Post certificate of registration at all farmers’ markets that you participate in.
The following links may be useful to you: 

Helpful Hints:

  • Report suspected cases of foodborne illnesses to the Health Department promptly.
  • Contact the Health Department regarding facility requirements before building, remodeling or purchasing a food service or retail food store facility.

Guidelines for Food Service Facilities During and After a Boil Water Advisory:

Other General Information:

Food Safety
Certified Food Protection Management Course
Boil Order Facts
MOLD and Your Health
Private Sewage Disposal
The Environmental Health Division performs the following functions within the Private Disposal System Program (aka Septic Systems):

  • Reviews proposed private sewage disposal system plans and applications.
  • Ensures the proposed system is of an appropriate type, sized adequately and located on the property to minimize the chance of future problems.
  • Issues permits for private sewage disposal systems that comply with code requirements.
  • Inspects the installation work performed on all private sewage disposal systems to ensure that the system is installed correctly.
  • Investigate complaints about malfunctioning systems, improper modifications and other problems related to private sewage disposal systems.
Click on the items below to view:

Helpful Hints:

  • In order to obtain a building permit you must have an approved water & sewage system permit. It takes at least 24 hours to review and process all private sewage disposal system permits.
  • Periodic pumping and inspection of a system’s tank(s) is essential to preventing premature failure of system.
  • Malfunctioning systems can expose the public to live bacteria and virus that can cause illnesses.
  • Should your septic system begin malfunctioning allowing sewage to come to the ground surface, contact a septic contractor, have the system pumped and evaluated to determine the type of corrective actions that are required. Permits are required for repairs to existing septic systems and those repairs should be done as soon as possible.
Potable Water Program
The Environmental Health Division performs the following functions within the Potable Water Program:

  • Reviews proposed locations for new private water wells to ensure that it is sufficiently remote from sources of pollution
  • Reviews well permit applications and processes permits
  • Inspects wells being sealed
Click on the items below to view:

Helpful Hints:

  • It takes at least 24 hours to review and process all private water well permit applications.
  • The proper sealing of an abandoned well helps prevent groundwater contamination. Wells that are abandoned or to be abandoned must be sealed by a licensed contractor or homeowner. A permit and fee is required and GCHD must be on-site to witness the procedure. Therefore, please call before you seal your well or have someone seal it for you.
  • Periodic sampling of your water is recommended for general coliform and nitrates.
  • Sterile water sample collection bottles are available at our office for no fee.
  • This generally costs in the area of $35 to $40 to have both tests completed.
Well and Septic Inspections for Home Sales

Property Transfer/Well and Septic Survey
The Environmental Health Division can provide you with information and assistance on the following property Transfer/Well and Septic issues:

If you are buying a home, undoubtedly there are many things that you are thinking about. How well the well and septic system is working may not be one of them. However, you should be, because an unknown or undetected problem with a septic system or a well can be a costly financial burden for a recent home buyer.

You can try to avoid encountering such a surprise by having a licensed contractor inspect the Well or Septic system. You will want any Information on file concerning this system, an inspection of the accessible components of the system and laboratory results of a water sample to help provide you greater insight into the history and current status of the systems.

If you have questions please contact the Environmental Health Office at 815-941-3115 and also contact a local contractor.​ To find a local contractor, please click here.
Smoke Free Illinois Act and Enforcment
The Environmental Health Division responds to complaints of violations of the Smoke Free Illinois Act (SFIA). The typical route by which we received complaints of these rules are through the State’s SFIA web-site (web address given below). All received complaints are investigated and violations documented for further follow up possibly including the issuance of citations.

  • Smoke Free Illinois:
General Rules

The State of Illinois has passed a law prohibiting smoking inside any public place. This law went into effect on January 1, 2008. It was subsequently amended with those amendments going into effect on February 4, 2009. While the law covers a variety of issues, the following are some of the most basic issues that could affect those due to the non-compliance of others.

No one may smoke inside any public place

  • No one may smoke within 15 feet of the entrance to a public place
  • No one may smoke within 15 feet of a window that opens into a public place
  • No one may smoke within 15 feet of a window that opens into a public place
  • At each entrance a “No Smoking” sign must be posted at the place of employment or public place where smoking is prohibited. “No Smoking” signs must comply with the specification in the Smoke-free Illinois Act
  • All ashtrays must be removed from the facilities where smoking is prohibited
If you observe a violation of these standards, you can report that as a complaint. That information is given below.

Submit Complaints:
As of January 1, 2008, individuals can file a complaint by calling the Illinois Department of Public Health’s toll-free complaint line at 866-973-4646 (TTY 800-547-0466, hearing impaired use only) or on-line through the following Web site:


The complete Act and other information can be accessed through this same site.
Radon in Grundy County
Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is produced by the decay of uranium and radium in the soil. This gas is naturally occurring and can be found at various levels throughout Illinois and Grundy County. The red areas indicate higher levels (above 4 pCi/L) of radon.

According to testing results provided by IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency), 72 homes have been tested in Grundy County and 44% had results above 4 pCI/L.

Radon rises through the soil and can enter buildings through small cracks in the foundation, gaps around pipes, or sump pits. Generally, there is a negative pressure inside our homes which can cause an upward suction on the soil gases. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Non-smokers can be at risk of lung cancer from radon exposure. Radon is the greatest source of radiation exposure to the general public. Testing is the only way to determine the radon level of your home. We can help with interpreting radon test results. Call us at (815) 941-3115 if you have any questions regarding radon. Radon test kits, like the one shown here, can be found in most hardware stores, or ordered on-line. If you are looking at doing your own testing, you may find the information at this site helpful: http://iema.illinois.gov/radon/pdf/guidelinesforhomemeas.pdf 
If you are involved in a real estate transaction and either considering having radon testing performed, or your property will be tested for radon, information to help you know what to expect can be found at this web-site: http://www.state.il.us/iema/radon/pdf/radontestguidelineforrealestate.pdf 

Related links: Here are a variety of links to additional publications and information about Radon

Radon Information
Radon Video Click Here

Healthy Homes Click Here
Tanning Program
The Environmental Health Division performs the following functions within the Tanning Bed Inspection Program:

Tanning Facilities Program

Tanning operations, which include all facilities providing consumers’ access to ultraviolet radiation emitting devices for cosmetic purposes, are required to make application for a permit to operate a tanning facility.

  • Grundy County Health Department conducts annual inspection of tanning facilities.
  • The inspection is done to ensure equipment is maintained and operated properly, and that operators overseeing its use are trained.
  • Health Department Inspectors may remove the units from service if they find that it’s operation may present a health hazard. The unit may not be allowed to be used until found to be in compliance upon re-inspection.
  • Regulations governing tanning bed licensing and operations
  • Grundy County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division recommends that if you are considering opening a tanning operation or adding tanning equipment to your operation that you contact us in advance to ensure that you understand the regulations and licensing process.
Body Art Program
The State of Illinois requires all establishments providing body art services such as tattooing, piercing, branding or scarification to be registered with the Department. Upon receipt of a completed application, an inspection is conducted to monitor compliance with the program. Renewal inspections are conducted annually or more often if warranted. Local Health Departments may contract with the Department to conduct the inspections in their jurisdiction.

Grundy County has an ordinance that addresses tattooing and body piercing and conducts the regulatory inspections for the State of Illinois. (Ear piercing is exempt from regulation).

Grundy County Tattoo and Body Piercing regulations

Body Art Technician Application

Report all unlicensed facilities due to possible disease transmission. i.e. HIV, Hepatitis B.

The Environmental Health Division provides the required training for tattoo and Body Piercing operators every year. If sufficient demand exists, additional class offerings will be considered. Please check the Tattoo and Body Art Class link for information about class offerings.
Other General Information