The Environmental Health Division (EHD) staff works with the citizens of our community in an effort to maintain an environment that provides optimum health, safety, comfort and well being, now and for future generations. The Village's EHD consists of three inspectors, with Bachelor of Science degrees in Environmental Health. All of the inspectors are licensed by the State of Illinois Department of Professional Regulation as Environmental Health Practitioners.
This division is responsible for the Food Service Program, Community Environmental Health, Recreational Programs, Day Care Programs, and Construction and Licensing. The EHD staff works with the citizens of our community in an effort to maintain an environment that provides optimum health, safety, comfort and well being, now and for future generations.
Food Service Program
The goal of the Food Service Inspection Program is to prevent food-borne illness outbreaks from occurring in our community. To achieve this goal, staff routinely conducts unannounced inspections in all local facilities selling and serving food. During these visits, staff works with food handlers to reinforce the important principles of food service and sanitation. During inspections the following are examined:
- Source and condition of food products received
- Temperature control of potentially hazardous foods
- Potential for cross-contamination in the facility
- Personal hygiene practices
- Design and maintenance of equipment
- Safe and adequate water, sewer and plumbing facilities
- Insect and rodent control
- General structural maintenance
Staff conducts follow-up inspections when necessary to assure compliance with the Illinois Department of Public Health, and Food Service Sanitation Code. Every effort is made to improve the general knowledge base of the food handlers at each facility. Staff offers separate in-service training seminars to further educate the food handlers. Educational materials and programs are also offered to other interested organizations. Staff investigates all emergencies such as fire, flood, power interruptions, or food-borne illness outbreaks, and responds to complaints when received from the public.
Community Environmental Health Program
The goal of this program is to promote public health and safety, as well as minimize any environmental health hazards that can lead to illness in our community.
Nuisance abatement is essential in maintaining Arlington Heights as a premiere community. It provides the public with the opportunity to address environmental concerns in the community. The staff responds to a variety of issues including:
- Insect and rodent control
- Improper refuse and yard waste disposal
- Property maintenance and improper growth of grass/weeds
- General health and sanitation concerns regarding housing
Radon monitoring allows residents to test their homes by obtaining a short-term radon test kit from Health Services. The cost of the test is $10, is available by appointment only, and is payable at the time the kit is received. The kit is then deployed in the home for 72 hours and returned for analysis. The results are mailed to residents. Long-term test kits are also available, on a limited basis, at the cost of $20. These kits are deployed in the home for 30 days. For detailed information about radon visit www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/pubs/citguide.html. Please contact Health Services at 847-368-5760 for an appointment to pick up a test kit.
Shopping Center Inspections
Routine inspections of shopping centers are conducted. If problems exist with refuse disposal, windblown debris, illegal dumping, etc. staff follows up with the center's management. Staff also responds to other complaints regarding noise, refuse, etc.
Refuse, Recycliing and Yardwaste Program
The Health & Human Services Department coordinates the garbage/refuse service, curbside recycling, and yardwaste programs with the Village contractor. The Department acts as liaison between the residents and the contractor. Approximately every five years, the Department prepares and oversees the bidding process for a new solid waste contract for the Village. The Village's current solid waste program provides garbage/refuse service once weekly with an opportunity to subscribe for a twice weekly collection, curbside recycling, and landscape collection once weekly (from April 1 to December 15). The program services all single-family homes, multi-family dwellings containing less than 4 units, and town homes requesting that solid waste collection be provided in accordance with all provisions of the Village's solid waste program.
Health & Human Services also coordinates the Refuse Discount Program for the Village. Householders aged 65 and over, are eligible for a discounted collection rate. Households with an annual income of less than $16,000 are eligible for an additional refuse discount if the householder is disabled or age 65 or older. For more information on these discounts, those 65 and older may contact the Senior Center at 847-253-5532, and residents with a disability meeting these financial guidelines may call the Village's Disability Coordinator at 847-368-5793.
Environmental Health is also responsible for implementing multi-family recycling in complexes larger than three units. It is also involved in the coordination of multi-family solid waste disposal at the Regional Transfer Station operated by the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC). For more information on SWANCC, visit their web site at www.swancc.org
Construction & Licensing Program
The goal of this program is to assure that businesses, which fall under the inspectional jurisdiction of Health Services, are constructed and maintained in compliance with Federal, State and local health codes. The department provides an in-depth review of all newly constructed or remodeled establishments during the planning and building permit phases. When establishments, such as food service operations, are constructed to code, they are easier to maintain and keep clean. Proper construction plays an important role in minimizing health, sanitation and safety issues during the operating life of the business. During the construction phase, staff routinely consults with contractors and makes periodic visits to the facilities. Health Services also inspects all new businesses that have applied for licenses. This allows staff to inspect existing buildings that have changed tenants to assure that the structure is being maintained and proper sanitation and operational practices are in place.
Day Care Program
The goal of the Day Care Program is to ensure safe and sanitary environments for the children using the facilities. These facilities are inspected a minimum of twice a year. Items noted during these inspections include:
- Staff to child ratios
- Physical facilities
- Safety aspect
- Condition and amount of play equipment
- Diapering practices
- Personal habits of staff
- General sanitation
The food service operation in these facilities is also inspected. Licensing inspections are conducted jointly with IDCFS. The Village also responds to concerns, inquiries and complaints from the public.
The goal of the Recreational Program is to protect the health, safety and general welfare of persons using these facilities through education and enforcement of minimum standards. Throughout the summer months, Health Services conducts inspections of all public and semi-public swimming pools, spas, etc., ( i.e. Park District, motel, apartment pools). Indoor pools/spas are inspected throughout the year. Outdoor pools are inspected during the summer months. These inspections evaluate the sanitation level, safety equipment, water chemistry, water clarity, as well as equipment maintenance. Arlington Heights requires outdoor pools to have an attendant, on-site, during the hours of operation. Spas are also inspected and they have their own unique hazards due to the small amount of water they contain, water temperature and the number of people using these facilities. They must be monitored closely to assure that the water chemistry and temperature are maintained within the proper parameters. Children under 12 years of age are not allowed to use spas. In an effort to minimize health risks to the general public, EHD also inspects hair and nail salons, barbershops, tanning salons and health clubs for sanitation and safety concerns.