Martin County Center: (507) 238-4757
Faribault County Center: (507) 526-3265
Home  |  Contact  |  Calendar  |  Blog


Martin County Center: (507) 238-4757
Faribault County Center: (507) 526-3265

Home   |   Contact   |  Calendar  |   Blog

Environmental Health

Public Health Nuisance (PH Nuisance)

PH Nuisance are community situations that present a health hazard to the community or to vulnerable community residents. Our intervention may be as minimal as providing information on what needs to be done to alleviate the PH nuisance or all-inclusive as cleaning up the situation and billing the land owner for the clean-up.

Food Beverage and Lodging

This includes licensing, inspecting, and following up on establishments that provide food, beverage, and/or lodging to residents and visitors to our communities. This includes schools as well as other establishments. In addition to the preceding, this also includes consultation for building/remodeling establishments.

Special Event Food Permit Application for profit and non-profit individuals and organizations operating in Faribault and Martin Counties.

For more information contact Tim Langer at 507-238-4757.

For more information contact Tim Langer, RS at 507-238-4757.


Common Environmental Concerns & Questions

Dangers of Lead Poisoning

The following information was adapted from materials provided by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Although there has been a dramatic decline in national blood lead levels over the past 10-15 years, childhood lead poisoning continues to be a major, preventable environmental health problem. Young children under 6 years old and pregnant women are most affected by lead and are considered to have elevated lead levels if their blood test results are greater than 3.5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child's health, including damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems. More than a million homes in Minnesota contain at least some lead paint.

Declining Trend of Average Blood Lead Level

In general, the average blood lead level reported in Minnesota reflects national trends and has been declining. While this decrease may be due to a number of factors, efforts to raise awareness of lead issues, and identify high-risk areas for lead exposure have played a key role.

Common Lead Sources

Common sources of lead in the home include:

• Lead-based paint

• Lead dust

• Food

• Soil

• Water

• Children's sidewalk chalk, crayons and toys.

Additional Resources

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has a wide variety of information and resources on the topic of lead, including health information, remodeling guides, clean-up information and much more. Click here to learn more about lead poisoning:

Call, email or stop by Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties for more information regarding lead and lead poisoning.


Private Well Water Quality

Hazards to Water Quality


It is not practical to test water for every disease-causing microorganism, but it is easy to test for a group of indicator bacteria called total coliform bacteria. These bacteria are good indicators of sanitary protection of the well and water system because they are everywhere on the surface of the ground, but do not usually occur past a few feet into the soil. If they show up in a water test, they can indicate that surface contamination has gotten into the water and that disease-causing microorganisms may be present. Just as disinfection kills most disease-causing microorganisms, it also kills coliform bacteria.


Nitrate is a compound that occurs naturally and also has many human-made sources. Nitrate is in some lakes, rivers, and groundwater in Minnesota. When nitrate is found in Minnesota groundwater, it is usually at very low concentrations. However, some groundwater has nitrate concentrations that present a health risk - especially for babies. You cannot taste, see, or smell nitrate in your water.

Drinking water with concentrations of nitrate (measured as nitrate-nitrogen) below 10 milligrams of nitrate per liter of water (mg/L) is considered safe for everyone in your family. 10 mg/L is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard for nitrate in drinking water for public water supplies.

Other Contaminants

Depending on a variety of factors, including location and age of the water source and the population being served, we also recommend testing for other contaminants in well water. MDH has information on arsenic, lead, iron, iron bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrogen sulfide, sulfates and other well-related issues on their water quality website.

A variety of water sample testing from a certified lab is available at:

Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories, Inc.

1126 N. Front Street

New Ulm, MN 56037

Phone: 507-354-8517

Standard testing includes testing for safe levels of bacteria and nitrates, but other tests are available.

Call, email or stop by Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties for more information regarding well water quality and the well water testing process.


Mold and Moisture

Mold is a type of fungus. Mold spores are found in both the indoor and outdoor air, but they will only grow if they find the right conditions. Mold requires three simple elements to grow:

1. Moderate temperatures

2. Nutrients (food)

3. Moisture

Mold can start to grow on interior building surfaces and furnishings if there is too much moisture. Eventually, the mold will damage the materials it is growing on and may cause health effects for occupants.

Mold and Your Health

Health effects from mold can vary greatly from person to person. Common symptoms can include coughing, runny nose, wheezing and sore throat. People with asthma or allergies may notice their symptoms worsen.

All molds are a potential health hazard.

Many molds are capable of producing substances that can be harmful to your health. Molds can produce allergens and irritants that can cause illness. For this reason, all indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, regardless of the type of mold present.

Some people may have more severe reactions

• Children

• Individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies or asthma

• Persons with conditions severely weakening their immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients)

Anyone with concerns about health effects from a moldy environment should contact their medical provider.

Additional resources are available from the MDH at:


Call, email or stop by Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties for more information regarding mold in homes.  


Martin County Center

115 West 1st Street
Fairmont, Minnesota 56031

Telephone: (507) 238-4757

Fax: (507) 238-1574

Faribault County Center

412 North Nicollet
PO Box 217
Blue Earth, Minnesota 56013

Fax: (507) 526-2039

Follow Us