A look at what we do
Environmental Health Division helps our communities become healthier places to live, learn, work, and play.
Our programs include:
- Community Health— Physical activity, nutrition, and built environments.
- Air Quality—Indoor and outdoor air quality, and tobacco prevention.
- Solid Waste and Toxic Substances— Infectious (medical) waste, underground storage tanks, Dirt Alert, landfills, recycling centers, and pollution prevention.
- Water Quality—Drinking water, groundwater, surface water, shellfish, and septic systems.
Environmental Health data
Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in America. No level of exposure to smoke is safe. In multi-unit housing properties, smoke can drift from one apartment to another. This affects indoor air quality, causing lung irritation and increased risk for heart disease and cancer.
Our smoke free housing program promotes smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing properties. We offer awards to properties that adopt them. There are three levels:
- Gold—No smoking on the entire property.
- Silver—No smoking in buildings or 25 feet from entrances.
- Bronze—No smoking in common areas.
To date, there are 311 properties on our Smoke Free Housing Registry. The chart below shows total number of housing units added to the registry each year.
Secure Medicine Disposal
Safely disposing of unused medications has many benefits. It limits drug misuse and reduces medicine theft. It prevents accidental poisoning. It also protects the environment.
Beginning in 2018, we helped get 21 authorized collection kiosks installed throughout Pierce County. These locations offer a free and secure way to dispose of unused medications. Check out the map below to find a location near you, or visit med-project.org.
Septic system inspections
Well designed and maintained septic systems keep you and the environment healthy and safe. They reduce the risk of illness from sewage and keep surface water and groundwater clean. Regular maintenance also saves money and extends the life of your system.
Our Onsite Septic System program helps ensure septic systems work properly. It's a big job. We oversee new system designs, remodels and repairs. We also check up on septic systems when a home is sold to make sure it's in good condition. Here's a look at the number of applications we process each year: