Environmental health

This program area encompasses risk assessment, protection from potential and actual hazards, prevention of disease and injury, and the promulgation and enforcement of regulations. Priority areas include:

Food Establishment Inspections  
• Housing Inspections
• Lead Paint Determinations

• Septic Systems
•  Private Wells
• Solid Waste
Tobacco Control 
Beaver Activity Endangering Public Health
• Public Pool Inspections
• Recreational Camp Inspections
Body Art/Tattoo Establishments 
Tanning Establishments

Food Establishment Inspections

The Quabbin Health District focus on inspecting and licensing all food establishments serving the public in Ware, with emphasis on those that present the highest risk to public health. If violations are found, the establishment owner will be ordered by the Ware Board of Health to rectify the violations within the time specified by State Regulations. If violations are so great an immediate threat to public health and safety exists, the Ware Board of Health can order the immediate closure of the establishment.

Food Protection Certification Exam and Directory
Food Safety Principals for Food Workers
Foodborne Illness: What it is and How to Report it

Housing

The Health Department staff continued to address the housing needs and concerns of residents. Tenants may request and arrange a housing code inspection of their rental unit by calling the Ware Board of Health office at (413) 967-9615. If violations are found, the property owner will be ordered by the Ware Board of Health to remediate the hazards within the time specified by State Regulations. Landlords needing a Board of Health compliance letter for rental subsidies can arrange an inspection by calling (413) 967-9615. Landlords are charged a fee for these types of subsidy inspections.

Safe and Sanitary Housing for Massachusetts Residents
Tenants Rights and Responsibilities in Massachusetts

Lead Paint

Health Department Staff will perform a lead paint determination in any housing unit where a child under the age of 6 resides upon request. If lead paint is found, the property owner will be ordered by the Ware Board of Health to have performed a complete lead paint inspection and remedial the hazard within the time specified by State Regulations.

Understanding Lead Poisoning

Septic Systems

The Ware Board of Health is responsible for overseeing and approving all matters related to residential and commercial septic systems governed by the Massachusetts Title 5 Regulations and the Town of Ware Sewage Disposal Regulations. Among its many responsibilities, the Health Department Staff review the design, placement, construction, maintenance, and repair of septic systems in Ware, acting as the Board's agents in performing inspections and fieldwork.

Caring For Your Septic System
Buying or Selling Property with an On-Site System

Private Wells

Under Massachusetts General Law, (MGA Ch. 111 §122) local Boards of Health have primary jurisdiction over the regulation of private wells.

EPA Booklet- Drinking Water from Household Wells

Solid Waste

The Board of Health is responsible for regulating the collection, transportation and disposal of garbage, offal and other offensive substances within the community. To that end, the Board has adopted regulations governing the licensing of trash haulers within the community. Solid Waste facilities in Ware (transfer stations, Incinerators, and Landfills) are regulated by the Board of Health through site assignments process in accordance with State Regulations.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Tobacco Control

The Ware Board of Health regulates the sale of tobacco within it's community, and develops regulations aimed at reducing youth access to tobacco products.  Any establishment or retailer who desires to sell tobacco products must apply for a permit to sell from the Ware Board of Health.  At this time no new tobacco permits are available.  
The Quabbin Health District inspects establishments that are licensed to sell tobacco for compliance with the Board of Health Regulations.  Fines are given for non compliance.  
The Ware Board of Health is also partnered with the Pioneer Valley Tobacco Coalition (PVTC) which is a MA Department of Public Health grant funded regional collaborative whose mission, through policy, compliance and enforcement; is to address youth access and exposure to tobacco products and to protect the public from secondhand smoke in public places.

PVTC will use evidence-based strategies, best available science and MDPH Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program guidance to guide policy work to help reduce the illegal sales and exposure of tobacco and/or electronic nicotine delivery products to minors. Some evidence-based strategies include; looking at outlet density and having a permit cap, reducing the number of permits through attrition, setting minimum pricing & packaging, prohibiting blunt wraps.

Throughout the years there have been endless warnings of the health hazards of smoking, yet it remains the leading preventable cause of premature disease and death in the United States.  To address rising rates of youth initiation to tobacco use, PVTC will; work with all member communities Boards of Health and/or municipal leaders to strengthen existing tobacco sales policy and have a presence in all of our permitted tobacco stores, providing education and ensuring compliance with existing local, state and federal regulation.

Beaver Activity Endangering Public Health

Outside of the open trapping season for beavers (April 16th -October 31st) residents can apply to the Board of Health for a 10 day emergency permit to trap or install water control devices in situations where specific threats to health and safety are occurring. Upon receipt of an application, Health department staff review and may also conduct a site visit.
In determining whether to issue such a permit to the applicant, the applicant must prove that the conditions caused by the beaver(s) meet the emergency criteria outlined in M.G.L. C. 131, § 80A .
Breaching dams require the approval of the Ware Conservation Commission. 

Initial permits are valid for 10 days, and may be renewed only up to a total of 30 days. During the second two periods, the applicant must contact the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for a permanent plan of action.

Citizens Guide to Addressing Beaver Conflicts 
Living With Wildlife- Suburban Wildlife in Massachusetts
Water flow devices in addressing flooding caused by beaver activity 

Public Swimming Pools and Beaches

The Health Department monitors the Town’s swimming water quality and ensures compliance with State Sanitary Code, working closely in conjunction with personnel from Parks and Recreation Department.

Simple Tips for Safe Swimming

Recreational Camps for Children

a rigorous inspection process is conducted for any camp operating in Ware to ensure the safety of the children enrolled in camp activities.

Info on Camps in Massachusetts- Questions and Answers for Parents

Body Art/ Tattoo Establishments

A rigorous inspection process is conducted for any tattoo or piecing establishment and practioneers operating in Ware to ensure health and safety.

Considerations When Obtaining a Tattoo or Piercing

Tanning Establishments

The Health Department Staff focus on inspecting and licensing all tanning salons open to the public in Ware

The Darker Side of Tanning