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Healthy Environments

Public Health Inspectors investigate health hazards in the community.

Some examples of health hazards are indoor air quality (like mould), outdoor air quality, human or animal waste disposal, bugs and animals that carry disease, garbage, and contact with dangerous chemicals.

For more information or to report a health hazard, call 613-732-3629 extension 505.

Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks – Air Quality Health Index

Health Canada – Mould and Your Health

Health Canada – Radon

The septic system is a cheap and efficient way of sewage disposal. But when it is abused or neglected, the septic system can stop working when you need it the most, like during the winter months. A septic system may stop working properly because of a poor location, bad construction, lack of attention, and overloading.

Inspect the tank once a year to see how much sludge and scum is in the tank. When inspecting inside the tank, do not use matches or open flame, as explosive gases may cause injury. Do not place your head into the tank either.

Tanks under normal working conditions should be pumped about once every 3 to 5 years by a licensed sewage disposal company. The build-up of scum on the surface and sludge on the bottom will plug the tank and eventually will plug the leaching bed too.

Septic Smart; Understanding your home’s Septic System

Lyme disease is spread to humans from the bite of an infected black-legged tick (deer tick).

You get sick usually 3 to 30 days after a bite. In about 70 percent of cases a “bulls-eye” rash will develop at the location of the bite. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, spasms, facial paralysis, fatigue, and numbness or tingling.

You can prevent tick bites when outdoors by:

Wearing light-coloured clothing
Wearing closed footwear and socks, with long sleeve shirts tucked into your pants, and your pants tucked into your socks
Using an insect repellant with DEET or icaridin according to label directions
Doing tick checks on yourself and your children after being outside
If you find a tick on your body, bring it to the Renfrew County and District Health Unit for identification and testing. We do not accept ticks from animals.

Government of Ontario – Ticks and Lyme Disease (PDF 2 pages)

Government of Ontario – Lyme Disease

CEP – Ticks and Early Lyme Disease: Information for Patients (PDF 4 pages, 305 KB)

Tick submission

You can submit a tick to RCDHU if the tick has bitten a human to have the tick identified at Public Health Ontario Laboratories or you can use one of these other services for tick identification.

Geneticks Statistics Center Link – Tick testing service, interactive tick maps and statistics

eTick – A public platform for image based identification and population monitoring of ticks in Canada


West Nile virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after biting infected birds.

Most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito have no symptoms and do not get sick. Some people such as the elderly and those with a weakened immune system may have flu-like symptoms. Very rarely, they have serious complications such as meningitis, encephalitis, acute flaccid paralysis and even death.

Since 2005, the Health Unit has been trapping and testing mosquitoes during the summer months. This helps us to know if mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus are living in Renfrew County and District. West Nile virus was found in mosquitoes in Renfrew County for the first time in the summer of 2017.


Government of Ontario – West Nile virus

Giant Hog weed and Wild Parsnip (PDF, 1 page, 5.5 MB)

Wild Parsnip (PDF, 2 pages, 227 KB)

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Pembroke Office

TEL: 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097

Renfrew Office

TEL: 613-432-5853 or 1-800-465-5000