The Union County Health Department wants to hear from residents about how new statewide sewage rules are affecting them. The Health Department welcomes all residents to one of five town hall meetings scheduled this April. The intent of the town hall meetings is to have an open discussion about the issuance of septic system permit, share information about inspection requirements scheduled to begin in 2020, and listen to concerns from the community.
The town hall meetings are scheduled for:
- Apr. 04, 6 p.m. – Richwood-North Union Public Library, 4 E. Ottawa St, Richwood
- Apr. 05, 6 p.m. – MillCreek Township Hall, 10420 Watkins Rd, Marysville
- Apr. 06, 6 p.m. – Allen Township Hall, 16945 Allen Center Rd, Marysville
- Apr. 19, 6 p.m. - Union County Health Dept, 940 London Ave, Marysville
- Apr. 26, 6 p.m. – Liberty Township Community Center, 21463 Main St, Raymond
“These town hall meetings are another way for us to both share information with our community and to hear concerns,” said Jason Orcena, health commissioner of the Union County Health Department. “We want to share what aspects of the law we have some local control over and hear from our residents so that we can bring their concerns to the attention of our state representatives.”
In compliance with state law, the Union County Health Department issued septic system operation permit bills to approximately 9,000 Union County homeowners at the end of 2016. The issuance of these permits resulted in hundreds of calls from residents. The majority of callers requested additional information about why the operation permit bill was issued.
“We want to be transparent with our residents,” said Orcena. “We want residents to understand this is part of a state mandate. We also want residents to know that the fee collected for the operation permit goes directly toward covering the cost of doing a visual assessment of every septic system and the costs associated with mailing the permit bills. None of the money goes toward paying for any other programs or service offered by the Health Department.”
Under Ohio sewage rules which went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, every private septic system must be regularly permitted and inspected as part of a local operation and maintenance (O&M) program. The length of permit cycles and inspection cycles can be set by local Boards of Health, but must comply with state minimums.
The Union County Health Department has proposed a three step process for adding nearly 7,000 private septic systems to the local O&M program. Part one is to conduct visual assessments of every private septic system in the county to confirm existence and operational status. These assessments will be completed by township from 2016 through 2019. Part two is to issue regular operation permits as required by state law. Operation permits were issued at the end of 2016 for calendar years 2017 through 2019. Part three is to ensure private septic systems are being regularly inspected. In 2020, proof of regular inspection will be required.
Inspection frequency will vary from annually to once every five years based upon system type. Inspections can be conducted by homeowners who have registered with the Health Department, by a licensed septic system service provider, or by the Union County Health Department. If a homeowner chooses to do their own inspections, they must first complete required free training and free certification per state rules.
Orcena explained sewage rule changes do not affect homeowners tied into a public sewage system. The rules only apply to homeowners who have a private sewage treatment system and some businesses.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the statewide rules were developed to set a minimum standard for Ohio homeowners. The rules, which haven’t been updated since 1977, help to ensure failing systems are not leaking sewage into yards, ditches, ponds, lakes and waterways. A statewide survey conducted in 2012, found approximately one-third of all septic systems in Ohio are failing to some degree.
To learn more about Union County’s Sewage Rules, please click here or call (937) 642-2053.
Union County residents who own property with a septic system received an application to renew their operation permit the week of Nov. 28, 2016 from the Union County Health Department. The Union County Health Department mailed approximately 9,000 septic system permit applications Friday in compliance with statewide sewage rules that took effect Jan. 1, 2015.
Due to changes in Ohio law, every septic system must be issued an operation permit. In Union County, this meant homeowners and businesses who have a septic system received a permit renewal application in the mail at the end of November. This application must be returned with a $30 permit fee in order to have a valid septic system operation permit for 2017-2019.
“We have received more than 150 calls from residents since Tuesday,” said Marcia Dreiseidel, director of environmental health for the Union County Health Department. “Most callers want to clarify that they need to renew their operation permit and verify that this is not a scam.”
The new law required local health departments to create rules regarding septic systems. The law also requires local health departments to place all septic systems on an Operation & Maintenance (O&M) program. As part of the (O&M) program, local health departments must establish a schedule for renewing septic system permits and ensuring regular inspections are completed. In Union County, septic system operation permits will need to be renewed every 5 years for $10/year. Renewals will be due in years ending in zero and five, with the next renewal scheduled for 2020.
“Renewing the permit of every septic system in Union County is a new process for our staff and our residents. We know everyone has lots of questions, especially since many septic system owners received their original permit several decades ago,” said Dreiseidel.
For the past five years, the Union County Health Department has been sharing information about proposed sewage rule changes. The Health Department has hosted five town hall meetings, sanitarians visited each township trustee meeting and answered questions at community events such as the Union County and Richwood Independent fairs, several articles ran in the local newspapers, and information was included in the Health Department annual report that was mailed to 22,000 homeowners.
Dreiseidel encourages any resident who may have received a permit application but who does not have a septic system to please call the Union County Health Department at (937) 642-2053. Health Department staff will correct any errors upon notification.
Dreiseidel explained that changes in state law were established to try and reduce the number of failing septic system throughout Ohio. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one in five septic systems will fail. Failure is often due to poor maintenance or improper design.
To learn more about Union County’s Sewage Rules, please click here or call (937) 642-2053.
"I have a strong desire to serve others, and I measure success by when someone expresses gratitude or I see positive outcomes and changes in my patients."
In her 20th year of nursing, helping people is Nurse Kim Prior’s top priority.
“I have a strong desire to serve others, and I measure success by when someone expresses gratitude or I see positive outcomes and changes in my patients.”
Serving her fifth year working for the Union County Health Department, Kim received her Associate of Nursing degree from Lorain County Community College and received her school nursing license from Wright State University.
Before coming to UCHD, she was a primary care nurse.
Kim is always out and about in Union County. She can be found doing health screenings in schools or meeting families through the BCMH program, which helps parents in need with the financial burden of their child’s medical bills.
“Relieving financial strain and stress for families with kids that have chronic medical conditions, and who are struggling to pay medical bills and locate resources is the reward of my effort,” she said.
Before receiving degrees related to nursing, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design from Bowling Green State University. She enjoys spending time with her husband Andy, her new English Springer Spaniel puppy Rainee Daze, and family and friends.
She also enjoys cooking, reading, camping, fishing, hiking, and kayaking. You can find her at garage and barn sales or at antique stores in search of unique finds.
Union County Health Department's Adult Clinic, formerly called "Adult Walk-In Clinic", has changed. Appointments are now needed for all health department clinics. Adult Clinic hours have also changed. Clinic hours are now:
Mondays & Tuesdays from 8-9am and 3-4pm
Thursdays & Fridays from 8-9am
We apologize for any inconvenience. These changes have been made to better serve our clients. Appointments allow us to reduce your wait time, improve the quality and comprehensiveness of the care we provide, and ensures all necessary paperwork is brought to the appointment. To learn more about what services are available during Adult Clinic, please click here.
Bringing a new baby home can be both joyful and exhausting. In Union County, we want all new parents to know you are not alone. The Union County Health Department offers a number of services to support parents as they face many new challenges. Many of these services are free, and all are designed to focus on you and your concerns about the health of your baby.
Free breastfeeding education and support from our Certified Lactation Counselor is available to all parents in Union County. We can provide guidance, support, or just answer your questions.
Free car seat safety checks are available to all parents, grandparents or caregivers in Union County. Free car seats are available for income eligible families.
A free online child development screening tool is available to all families in Union County. The tool is quick, easy and a fun way for you to get to know your baby through a different lens.
A free home visit from a registered nurse is available to all new parents. This visit is done before the baby is 8 weeks old. Our nurse will check both the health of the mother and baby and focus on any concerns you may have.
The Women, Infant and Chirldren (WIC) program provides nutritious foods that promote good health for pregnant women, women who just had a baby, breastfeeding moms, and children up to age 5.
Free help is available to support your goal to quit smoking during pregnancy and after the baby is born. A tobacco treatment specialist is available to provide counseling to those caring for baby in the home.
Free Pack N' Plays are available for families in need of a safe sleep environment for their infant. Safe sleep education is available to all families.
Is your child getting ready to enter or go back to school? Remember to put “Back to School Immunizations” on your check list! For the 2016 school year, recommendations and requirements for school age immunizations have been updated and/or changed. If your child does not have the required immunizations, by state law, they may be excluded from school until they receive them. The Union County Health Department is offering several Back to School vaccination clinics . Limited evening and Saturday hours are available. Please call (937) 642-2053 today to make your appointment.
New Vaccine Recommendations for the 2016-2017 School Year
Kindergarten Students: Children entering kindergarten are required to have 2 varicella immunizations.
Seventh Grade Students: Students entering Seventh Grade are now required to have a TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) booster and a meningococcal (A,C,W, and Y) (MCV4) vaccines.
12th Grade Students: Students entering 12th grade are required to have two doses of meningococcal (MCV4) vaccine. (If your 12 th grade student has never received a dose of meningococcal (MCV4) only one dose is required at age 16 or older.)
Summary of Ohio School Vaccination Requirements for all Grades:
The Union County Health Department has added several additional Back to School vaccination clinics. Limited evening and Saturday hours are available. However, these clinics are filling up fast. Please be advised that the clinics in the last few weeks of August tend to be the busiest, so get your child up to date on their immunizations as early as possible! We highly recommend that you call and schedule an appointment today by calling 937-642- 2053. To view information about our regular childhood immunization clinics, please click here.
The Union County Health Department requires an up-to- date copy of your child’s immunization record before we can administer vaccines. We would be happy to assist you in getting a copy of your child’s immunization record. Please call 937-642- 2053 for assistance.
Zach comes to Union County Health Department from the Ohio State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Public Health. It was ultimately his interest in animals and zoonotic diseases that brought him to the public health field. “[A large portion] of emerging diseases are zoonotic in nature which have huge human health implications”.
In his spare time, Zach enjoys staying active by playing a variety of sports including soccer, volleyball and foot golf, which according to Zach is a combination of soccer and golf.
In his time with UCHD, Zach will be taking over for our Epidemiologist Mary while she is on maternity leave as well as assisting with O&M assessments for our Environmental Health Division.
So give our newest Buckeye a big wave when you see him around!
“Well, I need to give a shout out to my hometown.” Jim is a very proud native of Youngstown and Canfield, Ohio where he grew up playing four sports. After graduating he received a football scholarship to the University of Findlay where he received his degree in Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Management with a minor in Public Administration. His degree and long-time interest in the outdoors set Jim up nicely to become a state licensed registered sanitarian after graduating from Findlay. In 2002, Jim began his career with the Delaware General Health District (Ohio) where he specialized in private sewage and water systems.
Jim started with Union County Health Department in 2011 at his current position as the Deputy Director of Environmental Health. Jim has been a longtime member of the Ohio Environmental Health Association (OEHA) and also serves as a sewage advisory committee member within OEHA. His knowledge of Ohio Sewage Laws has been instrumental in preparing Union County for the new Operation and Maintenance Program.Outside of work, Jim stays very active with his two children, Kensie and Cru and their family dog, Bria. Jim’s passion for the outdoors and nature shine through with his love of hunting, fishing and golfing. Jim's work duties often take him to every township in the county, so be sure to give him a big hello wherever you see him.
Holly received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Bowling Green State University. “I sort of fell into being a health inspector by accident”, she said. While at BGSU Holly took a class where she wrote a manual on a database management system for the Wood County Health Department. She was inspired by what she saw and applied to be a health inspector after college. In her years as a Registered Sanitarian, Holly has worked for several health departments where she did inspections on anything from sewage and water to nuisances and food inspections. She has also spent time at the EPA working in the solid and infectious waste department but missed the field and being a health inspector.
The same day Union County was approved to hire another health inspector in 1998, Holly called to see if there were any positions open and she’s been here ever since! Holly has a wealth of knowledge regarding all the Environmental Health programs at UCHD especially the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Program, where she is our resident aerator expert.
In her spare time, Holly enjoys gardening and spending time with her four dogs, Roscoe, Lucy, Gyan, and Freyja! If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting her, you know she’s never met a dog she didn’t love! Her flower garden is often featured on her Facebook ‘Flower of the Day’ posts and her vegetable garden contains all of the ingredients to make homemade salsa!
You’ll see Holly around doing some inspections and O&M assessments this summer and she’ll probably even have a treat for your furry friends!
"I wanted to find a career that allowed me to use my experience with the Army and be out in the field working with the general public."
Paul is the newest member of the Union County Health Department’s Environmental Health team. Shortly after moving to the United States from Kenya, Paul enlisted in the Army where he earned a Purple Heart for his bravery in the war in Afghanistan.
After serving for more than three years in the Army, he transferred to the Army Reserves to pursue his education at Otterbein University. Paul’s desire to combine his experience in the Army and work hands-on with the general public sparked his interest in public health. A degree in Health Education just made sense.
Paul is a family man. He and his wife Mary live in Westerville and are expecting their first child at the end of the summer. In his spare time Paul enjoys running, bowling and barbecuing!
Paul will be running point on our O&M assessments this summer. If you happen to see Paul out on the roads, give him a wave!