Health Department wise to crack down on tardies

District Health Department No. 4 is cracking down on businesses that fail to meet testing, inspection, and licensing requirements, News staff writer Crystal Nelson reported recently.

Businesses that fail to perform required testing on swimming pools and non-community water supplies (on-site wells that serve 25 or more people) will be charged a $50 late fee 30 days after the testing deadline, and another $50 30 days after that, the department’s board voted recently. Food-service businesses that fail to pay licensing fees on time will be charged a $30 late fee once their license expires, and their grace period for renewing their license was more than halved.

The policies are important. Businesses are required to test their water supplies for bacteria and nitrates. Food-service licenses ensure kitchens are clean and safe.

Nearly one-third — or 90 out of 300 — of the non-community water supplies the Health Department monitors were non-compliant in their testing, the department reported in the fall.

The Health Department board is wise to crack down.

“Our residents expect quality, safe drinking water, and, if the guidelines are quarterly monitoring, our residents expect those operators to be testing their water,” Health Officer Denise Bryan said at a recent board meeting. “… if we don’t do something about late operators, it’s almost as if it’s eroding the public health of our safe drinking water.”

We agree.

We support the department’s decision and hope it encourages folks who aren’t keeping up on safety protocols to get up to par.



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