Environmental Health

Human Health Hazard Inspections and Abatements

  • This agency administers the Columbia County Human Health Hazard Ordinance, Title 14, Chapter 1.
  • Healthy Homes

Environmental Health Resources


The State Department of Health Services shall close or restrict swimming, diving, and recreational bathing if a human health hazard exists in any area used for those purposes on a body of water and on associated land and shall require the posting of the area.

For problems or complaints with a beach area in Columbia County, call the Wisconsin Bureau of Environmental/Occupational Health 608-266-1120.

Flood Health and Safety

Residents who have had problems with flooding need to be concerned about the following areas: water safety; food safety; protection against tetanus; human waste precautions; injury prevention and the prevention of future mold growth.

Water Safety

  • If in doubt about your well water, it is cloudy, discolored, or has an odor, or if flood water has covered your casing and well cap, DO NOT DRINK THE WATER.
  • Do not use contaminated water to brush teeth, wash dishes, prepare food, make ice, bathe infants, or wash open wounds.
  • Do not let children play in ditches and gutters, the water is probably contaminated.
  • Use bottled water or disinfect the water by boiling for 5 minutes or adding household bleach (4-6%): 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water; shake and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Test your well water and/or disinfect your well.

Water Safety Resources

Food Safety

  • Discard any food: if in doubt about safety if food has come into contact with flood water, or if your freezer or refrigerator has been without power for a period of time.
  • For infants, use only pre-prepared canned formula.

Protection Against Tetanus

  • The tetanus organism is widespread in the environment, especially in soil.  Tetanus immunizations are recommended every 10 years.  Call the Columbia County Division of Health for information on this free vaccine (608) 742-9227.
  • Flood Water Exposure and Implications for Vaccination

Human Waste

  • If sewage disposal systems are not working, use portable toilets.
  • Minimize water use to help overtaxed sewer systems.
  • Sewage may back flow through floor drains into your basement.  These areas must be disinfected with a chlorine solution.
  • Septic Systems - What to do After the Flood

Injury Prevention

  • Electrical safety: contact your utility regarding power outage and restoring power and do not enter a basement with standing water, unless the power has been shut off.
  • Appliance: if exposed to wear, have an electrician determine if they can be safely used.
  • Avoid wading in water without proper foot protection; wear proper eyewear, gloves, and other protective equipment when cleaning.
  • Insects: wear repellent when out of doors; remove standing water from tires, pails, cans, and any container on your property.
  • Beware of: wild animals such as raccoons and skunks; dogs and cats that you do not know; or animals that may have entered your home, garage, or other buildings, if you had to evacuate.
  • Re-Entering Your Home

 Mold Growth and Cleanup

  • Clean up, dry out, or discard wet materials as soon as possible.  Items should be taken care of within 24-478 hours.
  • Cleaning Mold in your Home

Electrical Safety

General Flood Information

Hazardous Waste Disposal

If you think you have hazardous materials, you must first call the Columbia County Solid Waste/Recycling Department at 608-742-6651 for information on the approved process for disposal.


Examples of hazardous waste includes: agricultural chemicals, arsenic, chlordane, DDT, Dinoseb, dioxins, dry cleaning fluid, engine cleaners, fuels, solvent glues, lead and metal based paints, poison, rat bait, stain strippers, wood preservatives, mercury thermometers and manometers, etc.

Outdoor Air Problems / Outdoor Burning


 Short term Radon test kits are available at Columbia County Health Department. Long term Radon test kits for Columbia County resident are available  from the Sauk County Health Department, Radon Information Center.

     Cost: $10.00 for a short term test kit
$18.00 for a long term test kit
     Note:       For an additional $3.00, a test kit can be mailed to you.


To obtain a short term Radon kit: Call 608-742-9751

 To obtain a long term Radon kit or for further radon information:   Call 608-355-4317

Radon Information

Solid Waste Disposal

Columbia County Solid Waste
W7465 Hwy 16
(608) 742-6651

Columbia County Solid Waste (608) 742-6651

For rent from:

Columbia County Solid Waste Facility
(608) 742-6651

For a list of private vendors, call Columbia County Solid Waste Facility.


Burn barrel burning
Only paper, cardboard, and untreated wood may be burned.

Hazardous waste or any questions
Call Columbia County Recycling/Solid Waste at (608) 742-6651.

Household products
Call Columbia County Recycling/Solid Waste at (608) 742-6651.

Graphic Button for Rental/Housing Landlord/Tenant