The Audubon County Environmental Health Department is responsible for a wide variety of activities and programs in Audubon County. In 1992 the Audubon County Board of Supervisors (through the Audubon County Board of Health) contracted with Guthrie County to operate its program. For about four years prior to that time Carroll County had been the contractor. Contracting for services is a more cost-effective means of providing services. It isnít practical for a small, rural county to hire a full-time employee and part-time doesnít work well when plumbers and builders need service on a daily basis.
The two high profile programs operated are those involving septic systems and wells. A number of other programs are also administered by Guthrie County These include radon awareness, unsafe dwellings, animal abuse, dumping, rabies and animal bites, swimming pool inspection, tanning bed inspection, tattoo parlor inspection, bioterrorism, and a num-ber of other minor programs. One program specific to Audubon County is the Hamlin On-Site Management District that provides maintenance inspections of all septic systems in Hamlin.
Anyone needing to install or replace a septic system in Audubon County needs to contact the Environmental Health Department. After a percolation test is done, a permit is then issued, and an inspection is done before the system is covered up. The Department works with the contractor and homeowner to see that a properly designed system is properly installed by the contractor.
To drill a well a State and County permit is required. The well driller will work with the Environmental Health Department to see that there is compliance with these rules. After the well is completed, a water test is done as part of the permit. Heat pump wells also require a permit.
One of the most important parts of the program is the Grants to Counties program for providing cost share money to plug abandoned wells, rehabilitate existing wells, and to do water testing on existing wells. The State provides each county with funds to utilize for these programs. Audubon County receives $15,000-20,000 annually for this program.
For those who would like further information, you may go to the Guthrie County website for a wide range of web pages on all the above topics and many more. It is at www.guthriecounty.org. It should be kept in mind that these topics are specific to Guthrie County but in most cases are about 90% or more the same for Audubon County. The web pages cover lots of specific programs that Guthrie County has that Audubon County does not but these are obvious in most cases.
To contact Environmental Health staff directly you may use any of the following:
Mail: Audubon Co. Environmental Health
%Guthrie Co. Environmental Health
200 N 5th St Courthouse
Guthrie Center, IA 50115
Staff is available 8:00-4:30 (although we are out alot) weekdays. There is an answering machine there 24 hours a day as well. We hope you will visit the Guthrie County site to learn of the programs and then contact us for details or to sign up for some program.