Environmental Health

402 N. Main Street Salisbury, NC 28144


To safeguard life, promote human health and protect the environment through the practice of modern environmental health science, the use of technology, rules, public education, and, above all, dedication to the public trust.

Environmental Health Fee Schedule
Rowan County Public Health Inspections


 Well Water and Coal Ash 


North Carolina’s Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law was passed by the N.C. General Assembly and signed by the Governor in May, 2009, with an effective date of January 2, 2010.The law requires enclosed areas of almost all restaurants and bars to be smoke-free effective January 2, 2010. Smoking is also banned in enclosed areas of hotels, motels, and inns, if food and drink are prepared there. Smoking is permitted in: twenty percent (20%) of guest rooms in lodging establishments; cigar bars that meet specific requirements; private clubs - country clubs or organizations with selected membership - which are operated by the membership, have non-profit status, and provide restricted food and lodging services; establishments that are exempt from the state's sanitation laws. If you observe or note a possible violation, please notify the owner or manager of the establishment. They are responsible for compliance and are required to direct a person who is smoking to extinguish the lighted tobacco product. This law will go into effect on January 2, 2010, at which time you will be able to file a complaint online or by telephone. Contact information for health departments can be found on the web site for the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors. Ultimately, businesses that are not following the smoke-free law may be issued warnings and/or fines for violating the law more than two times.

Food & Lodging & Institution Sanitation

Food, Lodging and institution sanitation helps to ensure the public that establishments operating in Rowan County meet the minimum sanitation standards as required by the NC Department of Environmental Health and Natural Resources (NCDEHNR). Rowan County Environmental Health Specialists routinely inspect all the following establishments:

  • Hotels, motels and inns
  • Restaurants, food and drink stands
  • Summer camps
  • Meat markets
  • Schools and educational institutions, hospitals, day care centers, jail
  • Nursing and rest homes, residential care
  • Hot dog stands, mobile food units

Inspections include the establishment's level of cleanliness, food handling practices and proper food protection during preparation, storage and transportation. After inspection the establishment receives a certified card that is graded A, B or C. Each establishment is required to display their grade card in a prominent location for the public to view.

New and temporary dining establishments in Rowan County must have applicable licenses and permits. Inspectors will work closely with owners and managers to ensure the quality and safety of food service to the public.

Permits for New Restaurants - Application is made on an official form and submitted with full plans of the facility. Once plans are reviewed and approved a letter of notification is sent to the applicant. Once construction is complete and the applicant has obtained all building department, zoning and fire approvals, a pre-permitting inspection is conducted. If the facility has been constructed in compliance with the approved plans and state and local regulations, the applicant may apply for and obtain a food service license. Read/print the Foodservice Application Cover Letter and Foodservice Review Application.

Permits for a Temporary Food Service License - Temporary food service permits are issued for events that are no more than 15 days in duration. Inspections are conducted during the event to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.


Temporary Food Establishment Food Vendor Application that you may print, complete, and return to us.

Temporary Food Service Checklist for reference

Limited Food Service Application

Food Service Plan Review Cover Letter

For more information about food, lodging and institution sanitation you may visit:

Lead Investigations

Lead is a highly toxic metal that was once used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead poisoning happens when too much lead gets into the body. Even very small amounts of lead from old paint chips or dust from lead can harm the body. Children 6 years old or younger are most at risk because their bodies are growing so quickly. Three sources of lead poisoning are:

  • deteriorating lead based paint
  • lead contaminated dust and
  • lead contaminated residential soil

A blood test is the only way to detect lead poisoning and is recommended for children between 1 and 5 years old. If you suspect a child may be exposed to lead contact your health care provider and request a blood test. If someone is found to have an abnormal amount of lead in their blood an Environmental Health Specialist will help coordinate an investigation. Rowan County Environmental Heath does not conduct environmental lead testing. 


Mosquito & Vector Control

West Nile Virus is a virus carried by mosquitoes that can cause illness in some people. It is important that Rowan County communities follow preventative steps to reduce mosquito breeding and protect them selves against bites. Vector infestation can be a nuisance and a public health hazard. The Environmental Health section maintains a Mosquito and Vector Control program to control and prevent these public health problems. 


On-Site Waste Water Program

North Carolina general statutes mandate that a person owning or controlling a residence, place of business, or place of public assembly provides an approved sanitary sewage system. The Commission for Health services has compiled rules and regulations addressing the placement, design, installation and maintenance of subsurface ground absorption sewage disposal systems. The Environmental Health section of the Rowan County Health Department acts as authorized agents for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and ensures that these rules and regulations are enforced and the health of the public is protected.

Permits for Sewage Disposal System - Applications for lot evaluations for a subsurface sewage disposal permit can be made at Environmental Health on Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. An application fee is required as well as a plat of the property. The Environmental Health Specialist will make a site evaluation based on the following factors:

  • Topography and landscape position
  • Soil characteristics
  • Soil wetness
  • Soil depth
  • Restrictive horizons
  • Available space

Once the lot has been evaluated and approved an Authorization to Construct Permit for a subsurface sewage disposal system is issued. Once the septic system is installed another inspection is performed and if approved an Operations Permit is issued to the property owner.

For more information visit:

Pool Sanitation Program

Local inspectors work to ensure all public swimming pools in Rowan County operate in accordance with the regulations established by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Frequent inspections are conducted to ensure proper water quality, construction, and safety standards are maintained. No pool can be open to the public unless an Operations Permit is obtained from an inspector.

For more information on the Pool Sanitation Program visit:

Tattoo Parlor Permits

The Department of Public Health issues permits for any establishment and/or individual that offers tattoo services. The establishment and/or individual is inspected annually by an Environmental Health Inspector. Please refer to our Environmental Health Fee Schedule for tattoo permit fees. 


Water and Well Program

Local ordinance regulates the permitting, construction, inspection, repair, abandonment and water quality testing of private drinking water wells in Rowan County. Click here to read the Rowan County Health Department Well Rules adopted March 13, 2007.

Permits for Well Systems - Applications for a well installation, repair or abandonment may be made Monday - Friday between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. An application fee is required. Once the site has been evaluated and approved, the permit is issued.

An inspection is required during different phases of construction, repair or abandonment. When all inspections are completed and approved a Well Completion Permit is issued. 


Other Resources:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

North Carolina Department of Environmental Health & Natural Resources (DEHNR)