County Health Department
Board of Health Meetings
September 9th 3:30 pm
Blue-Green Algae Update!
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Monroe County Health Department Announces Water Caution for Sunfish Creek (Clarington Area)
The Monroe County Health Department is advising residents to use caution after blue-green algae was found in water samples taken from Sunfish Creek.
Water testing on Friday, August 21, at the boat ramp in Clarington has shown elevated levels of blue-green algae. The algae, at high concentrations, can cause health problems such as skin irritation, eye irritation or intestinal illnesses.
Therefore, the health department is urging residents to use caution when swimming, boating, fishing, or doing other recreational water activities in the water.
People can be exposed to the blue-green algae in two ways—either by contact with the skin or by swallowing it. The basic message is, if you see blue-green algae floating in the water, avoid swimming, fishing or any other water activity where you might come into contact with it.
Anyone who may be experiencing symptoms related to exposure to blue-green algae, including stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle weakness, or difficulty breathing, should contact their health care provider, particularly if they have been in contact with the water in Sunfish Creek
Other tips to avoid becoming ill from contact with blue-green algae include:
Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that many people refer to as "pond scum." It is most often blue-green in color, but can also be blue, green, reddish-purple or brown. Blue-green algae generally grow in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams when the water is warm and enriched with nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen. In certain conditions, blue-green algae can grow very quickly in number. Most species are buoyant and will float to the surface, where they form scum layers or floating mats.
Algae blooms can be the result of agricultural fertilizer runoff, sewage overflows and other pollution issues. Some factors that can contribute to algae blooms include sunlight; low-water or low-flow conditions; calm water; warmer temperatures; and excess nutrients (phosphorus or nitrogen). The primary sources of nutrient pollution are runoff of fertilizers, animal manure, sewage treatment plant discharges, storm water runoff, car and power plant emissions and failing septic tanks.
For more information, contact the Monroe County Health Department at 740-472-1677.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Month and the Monroe County Commissioners signed a proclamation on August 31, 2015, stating the week of September 6th – 12th Suicide Prevention Week. The Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition will be holding the 5th Annual Awareness Event on Saturday, September 12th at 5:30 pm on the steps of the Monroe County Court House. During this year’s event our guest speaker, Jess Hoff, will share her life experience, along with reading of the Proclamation, music, prayer, and a time for reflection.
Few of us realize that suicide is the leading cause of death in Ohio for those 10-64 years of age, and Monroe County ranks #1 in the State for completed suicides per 100,000 people. Since 2000, Monroe County has lost 47 residents to suicide, which is an average of 3 per year. The mission of the Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition is to educate the public on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and mental illness, and to help people learn how to intervene in the attempt to reduce the number of suicidal deaths.
It might be surprising to know that the highest risk group is middle aged men, but it can happen at any age. Depression is a major factor, so please stay in touch with your family, friends, and neighbors. Our “Save A Number Save A Life” campaign encourages EVERYONE to put the crisis hot line number, 1-800-354-4357, in their cell phone. You never know when you might need it for a loved one or friend. You can be the one who makes all the difference in someone’s life! Your interest in their well being just might be what they need. Research and statistics have proven that asking a person if they are experiencing suicidal tendencies does NOT make that person more likely to attempt suicide, but helps them to know someone cares.
Our message this year is “I Make A Difference”. Wrist bands, with this message, will be distributed during the event on Saturday along with showing the Acknowledgement Video “Who I Am Makes A Difference”. Savanna Burke and Moriah Dailey will provide the music. Please come and join us, bring your lawn chair, on September 12th to spread awareness about an illness that does have a cure.
If you would like to know more about suicide prevention, have a speaker attend your group meeting, would like materials to distribute, or are interested in joining the coalition contact Linda Masters at the Monroe County Health Department, 740-472-1677, ext 201.
"The mission of the Monroe County Health Department is to protect the health, safety, and well being of all county residents by providing high quality public health services. These services will be provided in an efficient and effective manner."
Do You Need Your Flu Shot - Call Karen
740-472-1677 ext 202
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If you were born in Ohio we can issue you a certified birth record!! This document is accepted by all governmental agencies as proof of birth. No more need to travel to the county where you were born, just give us a call at 472-1677 ext. 200 or 201
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We are now offering Baseline Water testing prior to oil and gas well drilling - Call John at 472-1677 ext 206
Gatekeeper Training - Saturday, August 29th 9am to 1pm
The Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition is proud to announce an upcoming training, which is open to the public and free of charge, by Ellen Anderson, Ph.D, LCC-S. Dr. Anderson is a professional clinical counselor who has been working in the mental health field for over 35 years. She has developed a variety of trainings for the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation. Dr. Anderson will be presenting the Community Gatekeeper training at St. Paul’s UCC, 303 South Main Street, Woodsfield, from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday August 29th. A Gatekeeper is any individual in the community who may come in contact with another individual that may be feeling suicidal. This training will explore the warning signs of suicide and the steps to be taken to decrease risk. Please plan to attend on Saturday; there will be a free continental breakfast at 8 am. CEUs are pending approval for mental health professionals. If you are not able to attend and are interested in the presentations created by Dr. Anderson, they are available on the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundations web site at www.ohiospf.org. Dr. Anderson will also be presenting to the faculty of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District. The Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition meets every third Thursday at 4 pm at St. Paul’s UCC in Woodsfield. Please plan on joining us as we strive to make a difference in our community. For more information contact Linda Masters at the Monroe County Health Department – 740.472.1677 ext. 201.
Should You Have Your Water Tested?
Modern oil and gas drilling is a highly technical and closely monitored process with regulations in place to protect underground sources of drinking water during and after the drilling process. The chance of ground water contamination is small but it is possible that groundwater quality can be impacted, especially near oil and gas well sites. Homeowners near such sites may want to consider drinking water testing for contaminants commonly associated with oil and gas drilling. The Monroe County Health Department can offer these testing services. A registered sanitarian on staff will collect the sample on site using EPA approved protocols. Water sample results are usually available within two weeks after testing. Please call the Monroe County Health Department at (740) 472-1677 extension 206 for more information such as prices and scheduling.
MONROE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
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Summary of Sewage treatment System Rule ChangesSummary of Sewage treatment System Rule Changes
On January 1, 2015 the new Ohio Sewage Treatment Rules became effective. Contractors and homeowners will both be affected by the changes. Below is a summary of the changes.
All persons registering as a sewage treatment system installer, service provider, or septage hauler shall take a test on the sewage treatment rules. The test is an open book test with 75 questions. The test will be available through local health districts, Ohio TRAIN, Operator Training of Ohio, and onsite and at Ohio Department of Health.
Septic Installers are required to carry a surety bond of $40,000, Septage Haulers and Service Providers must carry a surety bond of $25,000.
Installers, haulers and service providers must have proof of General Liability Insurance of not less than $500,000.
Homeowners will be affected in of ways that will likely increase the cost of installation and operation of the system.
Each lot must be evaluated by a soil scientist prior to a septic installation permit being issued. The soil evaluation itself will likely cost the homeowner $500 to $1000 dollars. The results of the soil evaluation will likely lead to a more complex or larger and more expensive sewage treatment system.
Each septic system installed after January 1, 2015 must be included in an Operation & Maintenance Program which will entail inspections, service calls, costs and fees as long as the system is being used.
Please contact Director of Environmental Health, John Shreve at the Monroe County Health Department for additional information or questions. (740) 472-1677 ext 206