What if I cannot find what I am looking for on the County website?
There are many Departments and Agencies represented on the County website and they cover a wide range of services. If you do not find what you are looking for, it is recommended that you contact the department that you think is the best fit and begin there. If your inquiry is construction related, you might begin with the Building Department, or maybe Planning. Your specific question will determine which department would be best suited to provide the best information. If you contact a department that is not the correct department, they should be able to assist you with identifying the next best contact.
How long does it take to get a Grading Permit?
After you submit your application, it is reviewed by the Planning Department and Environmental Health for clearances. When all is clear, your plans will be checked by our Engineering Technician, who will prepare it to be issued. The time it takes will vary upon the size of the project and staff schedules. Generally, a permit will be ready to issue in 10 working days.
I had a well drilled. How do I obtain a final inspection?
Call the Environmental Health Department and request a final inspection when:
all points to groundwater are sealed against contamination,
the water is absent of coliform bacteria,
the above-ground features of the well are in place, and
a well completion report has been received from the well driller.
Above-ground features include a 4-inch thick concrete pad around the wellhead extending 2 feet and sloping away from the casing and a check valve located on the discharge pipe. Additionally, the water needs to be sampled for the presence of coliform bacteria. This is performed after the well water has been disinfected with a chlorine solution. You or the well driller can take the water sample and have it analyzed by a State certified lab with a copy of the results being provided to this department. Or, in the event you would prefer this department pull the water sample, there is an additional fee of $30 payable at the time of the final inspection request. If you would like this department to pull the water sample after the final inspection has been conducted, the fee is $126.00 payable prior to the sample being taken.
How do I get a well completion report for a well that I own?
Well completion reports are to be provided by the well driller to the Amador County Environmental Health Department and California Department of Water Resources upon well completion. All well completion reports are considered confidential, and therefore, only provided to the property owner. Amador County adopted its Well Drilling Permits and Standards in 1990. Prior to 1990 well completion reports were submitted to the California Department of Water Resources and may be available upon request.
How much are the permit fees?
The fees vary depending on the work to be performed. Click on fees to view the fee schedule.
Can I obtain an Application & Water Well Job Permit online?
The Amador County Environmental Health Department will accept well permit applications on the form available on line as long as it is printed on buff cardstock and with a color printer. The completed form can be mailed to the Environmental Health Department with the required fee.
What is the process if I would like to complain about a site?
Complaints are anonymous. If you have a complaint about a solid waste site or any other complaints of a health hazard call the Amador County Environmental Health Department at (209) 223-6439 or Amador County Code Enforcement at (209) 223- 6565.
Can I burn solid waste?
The only wastes which can be legally burned are tree trimmings, leaves, dry pine needles, and plants coming from only the property on which you are burning. Burning must be done on a burn day. To find out if it is a burn day, call 223-6246.
What is the proper way to store solid waste?
Solid waste must be stored in water tight, rodent proof containers with tight fitting lids. It is required that solid waste be removed from a residence every 7 days, to prevent propagation, harborage, or attraction of flies, rodents, or other vectors, and the creation of a nuisance. What is the proper way to dispose of solid waste? Solid waste must be disposed of at a licensed disposal facility or transfer station. There are currently two transfer stations in Amador County.
Solid waste includes household garbage, trash, refuse, paper, rubbish, ashes, industrial wastes, demolition and construction wastes, appliances, manure, vegetable or animal solid and semisolid wastes, and other discarded waste.
How often should I have my septic tank pumped?
Amador County Environmental Health recommends that septic tanks be pumped every three to five years for good maintenance.
Why is it required that I have my washing machine discharge into the septic tank?
The wash water contains chemicals and bacteria which will contaminate surface waters and cause a public health hazard. The waste water also contains fine solids and soap-scums which will clog soil pores.
What other things can I do as a home owner to help assure the longevity of my septic system?
Reduce the amount of water used during winter and spring when ground water levels are high.
Minimize or eliminate the use of garbage disposals. This appliance adds extra solids and water to the septic system.
Do not flush semi or non- biodegradable items into the septic tank, including paper towels, rags, disposable diapers, cat litter, etc.
Do not flush large amounts of bleach or lye products into the septic tank. However, normal household use will not harm the bacteria in the system.
Do not discharge brine (salt water) waste from water softeners to the septic tank. The high salt concentration will clog the soil pores.
Do not connect roof drains and yard drains to the septic system. Extra water will tax the system.
Do not add sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide to the septic tank. These chemicals will affect solid settling and cause the sludge to flow into the leach field.
Do not drive vehicles or place heavy objects, such as portable swimming pools, over septic tanks, sand filter beds, or leach fields/disposal fields. Livestock can also compact the soil and damage the system and should therefore be excluded from the leach field/disposal field, and sand filter areas.
What kinds of plants are safe to use for landscaping on or near my septic system?
When landscaping on or near your septic system it is important to remember that plant roots can damage parts of the system by clogging the piping in the leach fields or disposal beds and sand filters (in alternative septic systems), resulting in expensive repairs. This office recommends trees and large shrubs be planted at least 10 feet away from any part of the system. Plants with extensive and invasive root systems (this includes many water loving plants) should be avoided or planted at least 10 feet from the system.
Plants that require excessive amounts of water should also be avoided when planting on the septic system. The extra water can over load the leach field or disposal bed and the sand filter sending more water through the system, thus shortening the life span of the septic system.
Plants that are commonly found as landscaping on septic systems include, ornamental rosemary, ice plant, wild flowers and other annual flowering plants, as well as grasses. It may also be a good idea to check with the nursery when choosing plants for landscaping. They may be able to give you an idea of the types of root systems certain plants have. This may give you a better idea of which plants to avoid and which plants to consider, when landscaping on or near your septic system.
What constitutes a Public Water System?
A public water system is a system that supplies water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyance that has 15 or more service connections or regularly serves an average of 25 individuals (the individuals do not have to be the same individuals) daily at least 60 days out of the year. (Human consumption consists of drinking, bathing, showering, hand washing, oral hygiene, cooking and other similar uses). Amador County Environmental Health Department regulates those systems with less than 200 connections.
There are different types of Public Water Systems. Each type has varying types of requirements. The following describes each water system category.
Community Water System - A public water system that serves at least 15 service connections used by year long residents, or regularly serves at least 25 residents throughout the year. (Example- Subdivisions, Mobile Home Parks, Apartment Buildings).
Non-transient Non-community Water System - A public water system that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons over 6 months per year. (Examples - Schools, office buildings, place of work).
Transient Non-community Water System - A public water system that does not regularly serve at least 25 of the same persons over six months per year. (Examples- Restaurants, campgrounds, summer home tracts).
There are also water systems that do not meet the definition of a Public Water System but are required to provide potable water for human consumption. These water systems are defined as follows.
State Small Water System - A water system that provides piped water for human consumption that serves at least five, but not more than 14 service connections and does not regularly serve drinking water to more than an average of 25 individuals daily for more than 60 days out of the year. (Examples - small subdivisions, small apartment buildings).
CURFFL Water Systems - These are water systems that do not meet the public water system requirements yet they are regulated by the California Uniform Retail Food Facility Law. (Examples - Mini Marts, Bed and Breakfasts).
How do I obtain a catering permit?
A food facility permit application must be completed and submitted to this department with the $168.00 annual permit fee. When operating a catering business all food preparation must be conducted at a permitted food facility in the county. Food preparation at a private residence is not permitted. Contact this office for a pre-opening inspection.
**County and city building permits maybe required.
**A food facility shall not be open for business without a valid permit.
How do I obtain a permit to sell at a temporary event?
Temporary food facility permit applications must be completed and submitted to this office with the appropriate fee. Non-profit temporary food facilities are exempt from fees.
I would like to open a restaurant in the county, what do I do?
If it is a pre-existing food facility and you do not plan to change the operation, install any new equipment or remodel the building in any way, you must submit a completed food facility permit application, pay any outstanding permit fees, and contact this office to schedule a pre-opening onsite inspection of the facility before an annual permit to operate the facility will be issued.
If you plan to remodel the facility or build a food facility, you must submit a completed food facility application to this office along with complete, easily readable plans, drawn to scale, and specifications to this department, and the Building Department that has jurisdiction over your project, for review and approval before starting any new construction or remodeling of any facility for use as a retail food facility.
Who do I contact regarding complaints about prepackaged foods, etc.?
If you have questions or complaints regarding prepackaged foods, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, or household products, call the California Department of Health Services Food and Drug Branch 24 hour answering machine toll free at 1(800) 495- 3232 or visit their website.
Where can I find information about irradiated foods?
You can contact the Center for Consumer Research at the University of California Davis at (530) 752-2774 or visit any of the following web sites.