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Guthrie County Main > Environmental Health
The Guthrie County Environmental Health Department provides a wide range of services to the residents of Guthrie County. Cass, Audubon, and Adair counties also are provided full service by this Dept. under separate agreements with each of the three counties. These counties pay Guthrie County to operate services in their counties as a way to save them money and to help fund Guthrie County’s Dept. Many of the environmental health pages that are included on this site also pertain to these other three counties.
Major programs provided include nearly all aspects of private wells and private sewage disposal systems. Well programs include testing, construction permits, plugging, and renovation. Private sewage system programs include percolation tests to size systems, issuing permits for construction, inspecting installations, and answering questions for residents. This Dept. also administers a program on radon testing and providing information to citizens. Further, this Dept. also does all the swimming pool, spa, tanning bed, and tattoo parlor inspections for these four counties plus Union and Adams counties as well. In 2012 another State program, inspection of septic tank/portable toilet pumpers, begins in our four counties plus Adams County. Such inspections help to safeguard the environment. With no increase in staff this additional income for permits helps to pay the costs of operating the overall Dept.
Complaint investigation is also a function of this Dept. We receive and investigate complaints on animal neglect and abuse, dumping and other garbage issues, illegal burning, and animal bites. How much of a role this Dept. has in the other three counties varies greatly by county. In Guthrie County the Sheriff’s Dept. is trained to handle livestock neglect and abuse cases. When possible we also work with tenant complaints regarding rental home conditions. Burning and dumping issues are dealt with in conjunction with the Dept. of Natural Resources. Iowa law requires that all animal bites be investigated by this Dept. to follow up on proper care of the person bitten and to see that the animal is confined or vaccinations verified. In Cass and Adair counties, the Home Care nursing agency handles these cases and in Audubon County the Sheriff’s Dept. is the responder in conjunction with the Public Health Nurse.
This Dept. is also involved in many land sales. At the time of sale of any property in any of the four counties, all wells on that property must be evaluated by this Dept. with certain requirements being enforced. The State now has a mandatory time of transfer private sewage disposal system inspection. This will require old systems to be upgraded and newer, permitted system to be inspected following a set State procedure. This Dept. can do these inspections for all four counties. The proper paperwork and documentation is provided so that the property transaction can be recorded in the County Recorder’s office.
Please look closely at the wide listing of topics that are provided at this site. Click on those that would interest you to read a short summary of that topic. These topic sheets will expand on the brief descriptions given above. Feel free to contact our office for further information or to clarify our role in your specific County.
Guthrie County has attempted to insure accurate information is posted to this site. However, Guthrie County does not warrant nor guarantee the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of information on this site or information referenced or linked by this site.