West Nile Virus Control Program

West Nile Virus Control Program

Health Department Initiatives in Public Education, Surveillance and Response to WNV

Increasing public awareness of the need for mosquito control, ongoing surveillance of vulnerable   populations and coordination of response to outbreaks offers the best chance of controlling this disease

The Environmental Health Division takes a lead role in county efforts to combat outbreaks of West Nile virus (WNV) by raising public awareness about the disease through education, helping to ensure surveillance of potentially infected humans, mammals and birds and controlling the spread of the disease. West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause mild illness (West Nile fever) or severe symptoms (encephalitis or meningitis) in humans and other animals bitten by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on birds that carry the virus in their blood. Currently, no vaccine against WNV is available so that mosquito abatement is one of the main tools that can be used to reduce the incidence of the disease. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of WNV if they do get sick and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites. WNV is now considered to be an endemic pathogen in many parts of the world including the United States.

Avoid Possible Exposure to Rabies by Avoiding Bats and Wild Animals

Avoid Possible Exposure to Rabies by Avoiding Bats and Wild Animals

Eight bats test positive for rabies so far this year
West Nile Virus Precaution Makes the News

West Nile Virus Precaution Makes the News

WCHD Staff on CBS2 Monday

Our own Katie Nelson from the Will County Health Department Environmental Health Division explains trapping and collection to Mike Parker of CBS Chicago News during a news segment Monday night. Click to watch the video clip of the news segment.

Environmental Health Division Laboratory Safeguards Wells and Septic Systems

Environmental Health Division Laboratory Safeguards Wells and Septic Systems

Testing Water Quality Protects Public Health

The Environmental Laboratory safeguards the quality of private wells and septic systems. Testing water quality is crucial to maintaining public health in Will County.

We are here to help you find answers to your water quality questions. We want you to know about the quality of your water so you can make informed decisions about its impact on you and the environment in which we live. Why do we test water? A large number of human diseases, particularly those of the gastrointestinal tract are spread through contaminated water.

The EH Laboratory supports the work of the division by testing potable water for bacteria, hardness, nitrates and fluoride. The EH Laboratory is certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health and NELAC for drinking water analysis.

All samples must be brought in on ice in one of our sterile bottles which can be picked up at any health department location. Samples may be placed in a sandwich bag or container with ice cubes. Please alert staff if you have a hydrogen peroxide system or a chlorinator when picking up sterile bottles. All water from private wells should be analyzed for bacteria at least once a year.

If laboratory analysis of your well water indicates that it is unsatisfactory for drinking or cooking it will need to be disinfected. A useful description of the procedures to be followed in the disinfection of your well is contained in our Well Chlorination Instructions. This document can be downloaded and viewed below.

Testing Fees   
Routine Bacterial Screens 
$20.00
Bacterial Screen with Count  
$25.00
Chlorine Check $  5.00
Nitrate Analysis $18.00
Fluoride Analysis $24.00
Hardness Analysis $18.00

Nitrite Analysis                     $25.00 which includes process and handling fees




 

Environmental Health Laboratory Location

Laboratory Location

Environmental Health Laboratory
501 Ella Avenue
Joliet, IL 60433
(815)727-8517

Environmental Health Laboratory Hours

Schedule for Dropping off Samples

Laboratory Hours: 

Monday-Friday:  8:30 am to 4:00 pm
(815)-727-8517

Fridays and the day before a holiday, samples are accepted until noon. Branch hours may differ.  

Contact individual branches for hours of operation.
Debris Management Means Safety

Debris Management Means Safety

Debris Can Cause Serious Pollution Problems

Even after floodwaters recede and the storms have passed debris remains that can cause serious pollution problems and potentially result in ill health effects. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) has developed this fact sheet to outline what you can do to ensure that the waste and debris are disposed of in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Please follow these guidelines to dispose of the debris.

Health Department Issues Tips to Deal With Flooding, Power Outages

Health Department Issues Tips to Deal With Flooding, Power Outages

Some basic health and safety information

The Will County Health Department is eager to provide some basic health and safety information in the wake of flooding and scattered power outages resulting from torrential thunderstorms April 17-18.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT URGES RADON TESTING

RADON KITS AVAILABLE AT THREE HEALTH DEPARTMENT LOCATIONS

The Will County Health Department urges area homeowners to be aware of radon dangers and test their homes for the presence of an odorless gas with potentially dangerous consequences.
Radon Program

Radon Program

Educating Will County Residents about Radon

You can’t see, smell or taste radon but it is believed to cause many thousands of deaths each year from lung cancer. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. You can be exposed to this gas in any type of building anywhere in the US but your greatest risk of exposure is in your own home where you spend the largest part of your time. Testing is the only way you can find out if your home contains a dangerous level of radon. 

January is Radon Awareness Month.

For homeowners, it is an ideal time to test your home and find out what your radon levels are. Passive radon test kits are available at every health department office for the low cost of $8.00. The radon test kits come with simple directions, prepaid postage to the laboratory, laboratory analysis and a written report sent to your home. We have offices in Bolingbrook, Joliet, and Monee ready to provide you with a radon test kit. Everyone should test their home and protect their home.

For parents, beginning January 1, 2014 day care centers will need to show proof the facility has been tested for radon within the last three years as part of the initial application or license renewal process. Day care facilities are required to post the most current radon measurement results next to the licenses issued by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and provide copies of the report to parents or guardians upon request. Visit www.radon.illinios.gov for additional information.

For educators, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has made a Radon Power Point presentation available. This power point may be used in a science curriculum or to inspire students to participate in radon awareness by submitting posters and videos for the 2018 contests. Visit www.radon.illinois.gov for additional information on the power point presentation and  http://www.lung.org/local-content/illinois/our-initiatives/illinois-radon-poster-contest.html  for additional information on the poster and video contests.

For contractors, in case you were not aware, the Illinois Radon Regulation (32 ILAC 422) underwent an extensive review and update at the end of 2013. The most significant change to the Code is the addition of section 422.160 titled Mitigation Standard for New Residential Construction as required by the Radon Resistant Construction Act which requires all new 1 and 2 family structures built in Illinois after June1, 2013 to include radon resistant features installed to regulations.

 

Useful Links:

Radon Zone Map

Measurement Labs Price List

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