Public Health Nuisances

Nuisances Defined

A public health nuisance is any activity or failure to act that adversely affects the public health. It also includes any source of contagion, filth, or disease. Some examples include clandestine labs, human or animal feces, food debris, accumulation of household trash, sewage, abandoned well, animal carcasses, and insect presence. These examples may occur in rental property as well as in open spaces and individual properties. The Department of Public Health and Environment is responsible for investigating complaints and taking action if a public health nuisance is found.

Regulations regarding public health nuisances are outlined in the Washington County Public Health Nuisance Ordinance 165 (PDF).

Report a Concern

To report a concern or complaint about a possible public health nuisance, go to Report a Concern and submit the information. Complaints about secondhand smoke exposure can also be submitted. Your report will go directly to the department for follow-up.

If the complaint is regarding building or electrical issues, contact your community housing or building inspector. Please be aware Washington County does not have a housing code and not all communities have housing codes.