To help support homeowners in Northern Michigan, we provide many different services. Choose a category below to find programs to meet your needs. Not finding what you're looking for, or could use some guidance? Our Central Intake operators are happy to help: 1-800-432-4121.
Please email permit applications or nuisance complaints to the appropriate county:
Land Use Services - Underground Utility Marking To comply with the requirements of Public Act 53 of 1974 by the Michigan State Legislature for the Protection of Underground Facilities and to protect our employees' safety, HDNW will be having underground utilities flagged by Miss Dig for all Septic, Well, Existing System and Site Evaluations applications. This will delay all applications for four (4) business days to allow for utility marking.
Codes and Regulations
District Sanitary Code
Michigan Criteria for Subsurface Sewage Disposal
Michigan Water Well Construction and Pump Installation Code
Environmental Health Fee Schedule
Your permit application must be accompanied by the correct fee. Download the fee schedule for the county in which the property is located:
Apply for this evaluation if you intend to remodel or otherwise change the water and septic requirements of your existing home or property. Use this form only if there is an existing system on the property and the demands on that system will be changing. Download the application: Antrim and Emmet Counties or Charlevoix County, or Otsego County.
Apply for this evaluation if you are the buyer (or the buyer's lending institution) and you need to determine the adequacy of the water supply and sewage disposal system of a house for sale. The evaluation includes the determination of operation, capacity and size of the sewage disposal system and if the system reasonably meets sanitary code requirements. Water samples are collected for coliform bacteria and partial chemical analysis to determine well water quality. The well construction and isolation are reviewed and compliance and/or non-compliance with well construction rules is determined. Water well records are reviewed if available.
Note: There are well isolation requirements; click here for more information.
Download the application: Antrim and Emmet Counties or Charlevoix County, or Otsego County.
Apply for this evaluation if you need to determine the suitability of vacant property for sewage disposal. This application is normally used for property buy/sell situations. Application for permits to install water well and septic system may be submitted by the new property owner following the closing of the sale of the property. Download the application: Antrim and Emmet Counties, or Charlevoix County, or Otsego County.
Apply for this evaluation if you are considering selling or purchasing real estate, and your township or municipatlity requires completion of this evaluation prior to sale, to ensure disclosure of all conditions that may affect or limit future property use and development. Check with your township or municipality to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities regarding water and septic system evaluations. Download the application: Antrim and Emmet Counties, or Charlevoix County, or Otsego County.
The health department continuously conducts surveillance on vector borne diseases that can threaten individuals or the health of our communities. We have participated, along with communicable disease staff, to identify and test animals for diseases that can be spread by animal to human exposure. The agency responds to reports of animal exposures, including potential rabies exposures from bats, dogs, racoons etc., Lyme Disease through tick exposures, as well as reviewing other potential diseases (West Nile, EEE, Avian Botulism and others).
I have a bat in my house, what should I do?
Safely isolate/capture the bat and contact the Health Department. DO NOT bring the bat to the Health Department unless instructed to.
I have a tick on me, what should I do?
Visit www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/home/lyme-disease for more information about removal and disposal.
I've been bitten by a dog or wild animal, what should I do?
Wash the bite with soap and water and dress the wound with antibiotic ointment and bandage. If serious, seek medical attention. Quarantine the animal, if possible, and contact Animal Control or Health Department.
The Health Department has test kits available for many types of water sampling; including the two most common: Bacteriological and Partial Chemical. Stop by any of our offices to pick up one or more of the following test kits:
Bacteriologic (Coliform) Sampling
(Required for new wells - included in permit fee)
Test Code B
Partial Chemical Sampling
(Fluoride, Chloride, Hardness, Iron, Sodium, Sulfates, Nitrites and Nitrates)
(Required for new wells - included in permit fee)
Test Code C
Options for Sample Submission to Lab:
1. Drop-off: Samples MUST be collected on the day they are dropped off. Drop-offs will only be accepted at the following locations according to the schedule below:
Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet offices accept water samples Monday thru Wednesday from 8:00 am -11:00 am
2. Shipping: Samples only may be shipped to the lab on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, to arrive Thursday. It is your responsibility to ensure samples are received by the laboratory within 30 hours of collection. (Be sure to check with the post office or other shipping company to make sure your sample will arrive in time. You may have to pay an additional charge for overnight delivery.)
Download: Understanding Your Drinking Water Sample Results
The Health Department's Beach Monitoring Program evaluates and reports on the water quality at approximately 50 Great Lakes and Inland Lakes beaches annually, throughout Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego Counties.
Northern Michigan Regional Laboratory (NMRL) is located at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan building in Gaylord, MI.
Indoor air quality can have a significant effect on your health. Studies show that people spend 65 to 90 percent of their time indoors, and indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The young, elderly, chronically ill, and those with respiratory or cardiovascular disease are often the most impacted by poor indoor air quality.
MoldA Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home
Molds in Your Home
Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments
Testing for Mold
MercuryCleaning Up Small Mercury Spills
CDC ATSDR ToxFAQ™ - Mercury
LeadLead Poisoning: Is Your Home Safe?
11 Steps to Protect Your Child from Lead Poisoning
Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home (EPA)
CDC ATSDR ToxFAQ™ - Lead
Household Hazardous WasteHousehold Hazardous Waste Disposal Information
A nuisance complaint investigation will be conducted by Environmental Health field staff when a signed complaint is received by any of our branch offices. Complaints relating to sewage, food and garbage are the most commonly investigated nuisances. If the complaint does not fall within the authority of the Health Department, clients may be referred to other regulating agencies. Nuisance complaints are prioritized by their significance with respect to public health risks. Download the form: Nuisance Complaint Form.
Complaints involving tenant/landlord issues, generally, do not fall within the authority of the Health Department, unless they are associated with water, sewage or garbage. To assist clients with housing issues or tenant/landlord disputes, we have provided the following resources:
For general tenant/landlord legal information, contact the Michigan Attorney General toll free help line at 1-877-765-8388
For issues regarding mobile home parks, contact the Department of Licensing and Regulartory Affairs (LARA) at 517-241-9347.
A Practical Guide for Tenants and Landlords (Michigan Legislature website)
US Department of Housing and Urban Development website
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in soil. rock, and water. It is formed by natural breakdown of radium, which is a radioactive product of decaying uranium.
As radon decays into radioactive particles and is inhaled into the lungs, energy is released that can damage sensitive lung tissue and lead to lung cancer. The small bursts of energy released from particles trapped in the lungs are like being exposed to hundreds of chest x-rays every year.
The longer your exposure or the higher the level of radon in your home, the greater the risk.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS have been used globally during the past century in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of common household and other consumer products. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and in the human body - meaning they don't break down and they can accumulate over time. In recent years, experts have become increasingly concerned by the potential effects of high concentrations of PFAS on human health.
TCE Plume in Antrim County
ACUTE Meeting Notes - December 13, 2013
ACUTE Meeting Notes - February 7, 2014
ACUTE Meeting Presentation - June, 2015
DEQ Meeting Presentation - December 6, 2017
HDNW Meeting Presentation - December 6, 2018
Links of InterestDEQ - Wickes TCE Plume Web Mapping Application
Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center, MSU
Three Lakes Association
EPA - TCE in Drinking Water
ATSDR Trichloroethylene - ToxFAQs
ATSDR Toxzine Tricholorethylene