Environmental Public Health

Environmental public health works to protect people by managing programs to reduce exposure to unsafe air, water, soil and food to protect people and provide communities with healthier environments. Find information on our programs below. 

Health inspections

Columbia County Public Health inspects and enforces health and safety regulations at a variety of facilities so they can continue to serve the public in a healthy and safe manner. The facilities we work with can include restaurants (temporary food booths, mobile food units, food carts school food programs), public and semi-public pools and spas, summer camps, motels, hotels, and RV parks. Environmental Health programs and services benefit the entire community, including county residents, tourists, visitors, and businesses. Our services include:

  • regulating and inspecting food service, public pools and overnight lodging
  • consulting with operators of public water systems to make sure water is clean
  • providing inspection services for child daycare and public school cafeterias
  • investigating illnesses that are spread through food and water, and
  • providing training for food workers and restaurant managers.

Restaurant licensing

Oregon law requires that restaurants, including temporary restaurants, food trucks, and mobile units are licensed (ORS 624.020). If you plan to open a temporary restaurant, or operate a new or previously licensed restaurant in the county, a Restaurant License Application must be submitted to the Columbia County Public Health Authority. Information on regulations and licensing fees for these and other establishments can be found below.

Read about and find forms for food service license applications and regulations

Food, pool, lodging, and child care licenses and services fees →

Solicitud de licencia de servicio de alimentos unidad movil, economato, almacen, maquina expendedora

Solicitud de licencia de restaurante temporal de evento unico

Formulario de acuerdo de alimentos exentos

Information for food handlers

Columbia County Public Health provides information on regulations, classes, testing and applications for food handlers.

Learn more and obtain a food handler card →

Onsite septic systems

The Columbia County onsite wastewater program regulates the installation, repair and maintenance of septic systems for homes and businesses not served by community sewer systems. Our services include:

Drinking water

Columbia County Public Health administers and enforces drinking water quality standards for approximately 50 public water systems in the county. We work with the Oregon Health Authority to assist water system operators with water quality alerts, public notices, water monitoring and testing, and sanitary hazard analysis.

Public Health Quick Links
General Information
Phone Numbers
503-397-7247 24-hour Reporting 503-397-7247
Fax: 888-204-8568
Emergencies: Dial 911
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30


Columbia County Public Health is committed to improving the quality of life and protecting the health and well-being of all residents by addressing social, economic, and environmental conditions. Our goal is to ensure that all people in Columbia County have the opportunity for a healthy life.