EnviroConnections -- June 19, 2014

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June 19, 2014


About Us

Maricopa County Environmental Services provides essential, regional environmental services seeking to prevent and remove environmental health risks. The Department’s Environmental Health Specialists and Field Technicians are in the community every day making sure that among other things, food in all the eating and drinking establishments in the County is protected from contamination, that water supplies throughout the County are safe to drink, and that vector borne health illnesses and risks are minimized. It is our belief that with continued support, future generations will reap the benefits of today’s actions.


Contact Us

ESD Building

Environmental Services Department

Adminsitration Building (Map)
1001 N. Central Ave. Suite 401
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 506-6616

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m

Monday thru Friday

(Excluding Holidays



Need assistance en Español or in 中文 for your food related business?


Nuestros representantes o enlaces para negocios hispanos de venta de alimentos están disponibles para asistirles entendiendo las necesidades culturales de su negocio y asistiéndoles en su idioma.


Do you need to make sure that your ethnic foods meet Maricopa County Health Code standards?  Our language liaisons are available to assist you!

Chinese Words


Llámenos hoy! Call us today:

(602) 506-3408


MCESD Environmental Health Division Office Locations:

Central Regional Office (Map)
1001 N. Central Ave. Suite 301
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 506-6272

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)

Eastern Regional Office (Map)
1255 W. Baseline Rd. Suite 266
Mesa, AZ 85202
Phone: (480) 820-7655

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)

Northern Regional Office (Map)
15023 N. 75th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 483-4703

8:00 a.m. - 12:00p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)

Western Regional Office (Map)
16140 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr., Suite #105
Peoria, AZ 85382
Phone: (623) 939-5788

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)

Mobile Food Office (Map)
1645 E. Roosevelt
Phoenix, AZ 85006
Phone: (602) 506-6872

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)


Need a Food Service Worker Card?

FSW Card

Visit Maricopa County Environmental Services Department Web site (or Click on Sample Card Image shown above) to obtain all the information you need at your fingertips!.


Stay Connected with ESD


Thank you for staying connected with EnviroConnections by  Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.
This newsletter will be available quarterly and on special occasions. Get all the issues! If you are not yet subscribed, you can sign up now and  Bookmark and Share this with a friend.

Welcome to EnviroConnections

John Kolman

We are very excited to introduce you to this first edition of our new online bulletin EnviroConnections.  Any member of the public will be able to subscribe to receive an alert with a Link to access new issues, with news, announcements, updates and reminders of the various services that we provide to the community.

John Kolman, Environmental Services Department Director


Food Industry Menu

Cutting Edge


The Cutting Edge Program – An Industry Partnership Success Story

Now in full swing, the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department launched an innovative voluntary program to create efficiencies, promote food safety practices, and recognize industry for its food safety systems back in February 2012.  

Refrigerator and Thermometer

The program, known as "The Cutting Edge," reinforces food safety management systems and encourages Active Managerial Control, known as AMC.

Now in full swing, the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department launched an innovative voluntary program to create efficiencies, promote food safety practices, and recognize industry for its food safety systems back in February 2012. The program, known as "The Cutting Edge," reinforces food safety management systems and encourages Active Managerial Control, known as AMC.


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Food Peddler - Ice Cream

Board approved Food Peddler Permit Revision 

Good news for those operators that only need a seasonal permit for their type of business. The Department is pleased to announce that on May 21st, the Board of Supervisors adopted the proposed revisions to the Food Peddler Permit, which was submitted by the Environmental Services Department (ESD) via the Enhanced Regulatory Outreach Program (EROP) process.  This revision adds a six month Food Peddler Permit ($60.00 fee) to provide customers the flexibility to either obtain a six month or the current one year permit ($120.00 fee) commensurate with the actual time period during which they conduct business. 

In June 2013, the proposal was initiated into the EROP process and the newly adopted language is the product of ESD’s efforts to solicit, obtain, consider, and respond to stakeholder views through EROP site correspondence and two stakeholder meetings.  The additional Food Peddler Permit is available as proposed code on the EROP site.  Also, it has been formatted and will soon be available on the Environmental Services Website.

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Hans at construction site inspection

Adaptive Reuse: more than food for thought

Adaptive Reuse has been on the rise recently.  What Adaptive Reuse means is that a person or business has found new use for an existing or old structure. The benefits of Adaptive Reuse can range from spurring economic growth to neighborhood revitalization; from historical preservation to the promotion of sustainable practices.

Read More... 

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fda 2009 Food Code

Consumer Advisory Answers – New Environmental Health Food Sellers’ Resource

Foods from animals such as meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, and eggs when eaten raw or under-cooked sometimes contain harmful viruses and bacteria that can pose a risk of foodborne illness.  Young children, pregnant women, older adults and those with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable.  The Maricopa County Environmental Health Code and by adoption, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2009 Food Code, require a written consumer advisory to assure that all consumers are informed about the increased risk of eating raw or undercooked animal foods.  This information enables consumers to play a significant role in protecting themselves from foodborne illness and best equips them to assess their individual risk and assume responsibility for their ordering decisions.  The required consumer advisory consist of two parts:  Disclosure and Reminder, and applies to written and printed menus of all types.

If you have questions about whether your menu items require a consumer advisory or how to comply with the consumer advisory requirement, then please refer to the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) Consumer Advisory Guidance document located on the MCESD website at: Consumer Advisory Guidance or contact a MCESD Environmental Health Division Registered Sanitarian at one of our office locations listed on the Left Column.

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Get your business game plan ready for Super Bowl XLIX

Stadium Super Bowl

Calling all restaurants, hotels, event vendors, event coordinators, and public and semi-public pool operators. The Super Bowl is fast approaching and as such we will see an increased demand in the industry. Did you know the Environmental Services Department for Maricopa County regulates the permitting and inspections for food establishments, public accommodations, and public and semi-public pools. If you plan on participating as a food establishment at one of the events, would like guidance on managing the high demand at your public accommodation, or have any questions relating to the Super Bowl or any of the other events planned during that short time period, please contact our Department. We would be glad to partner with you to ensure this event is a success for all involved.

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Water & Waste Management News

Water and Waste Management

Division’s water programs

Kevin Chadwick, P.E., Division Manager

The Department’s Water and Waste Management Division is responsible for plan review, construction inspection and permit compliance for many programs related to our name.  In each issue of EnviroConnections, I will tell you about some of our work. 

Today’s subject is a quick orientation to the Division’s water programs.

Our Drinking Water Program regulates all public water systems in Maricopa County.  Under authority granted by the State of Arizona, we ensure that public water systems meet safe drinking water standards. The standards include water quality requirements, such as limits on bacterial and chemical contaminants, operational standards, such as minimum pressures, disinfectant levels, and operator certification requirements, and construction standards.  Public water systems include municipal water suppliers that serve thousands of customers, as well as any system that serves at least 15 homes or 25 persons per day.  There are over 200 water systems with permits to operate in Maricopa County.

Drinking Water Program staff work includes approval of new public water systems and new drinking water sources, reviewing and approving water system sampling, emergency operations and backflow prevention plans.  They review water systems’ routine water quality testing to ensure compliance with water quality standards, and inspect water system facilities.  Water treatment facilities that remove or reduce contaminants are inspected by an engineer or environmental health specialist annually. 

The Subdivision and Infrastructure Program performs engineering plan review for water facilities, except treatment plants, that will be part of a public water system.  The employees review plans to provide our customers with an “approval to construct” certificate for water pipelines, storage tanks, and well piping.  They also review and approve plans for subdivisions, mobile home parks and condominiums to ensure the drinking water facilities meet Maricopa County and State regulatory standards. 

Drinking water treatment facilities in Maricopa County can be as simple as in-line filters at a well site that reduces a contaminant by adsorption onto a coated sandy material.  Other, more complex facilities use surface water from canal systems to produce drinking water.  The Division’s Treatment Plant Program reviews and approves plans for all water treatment facilities – new facilities and all changes to existing facilities.  They also inspect the completed construction, approve operational start-up testing and, as the final step, approve the construction for routine operation.

All of our drinking water-related programs strive to perform our mission to ensure a safe and healthy environment by assisting customers to comply with regulatory standards. We always appreciate your feedback on our service.

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Stormwater - What do you need to know?


Did you know…stormwater runoff is one of the leading causes of water pollution in the United States? Because we live in a desert, stormwater pollution is not considered to be a problem or even thought about by many of our residents. Yet, on the rare occasions when it does rain, pollutants, such as dirt, trash, oil, and chemicals that have built up on our roads and lawns get picked up by the runoff and carried to our storm drains. In the Phoenix area, stormwater runoff does NOT go to a water treatment plant before entering our recreational or drinking waters. It is transported by drains, streets, gutters, curbs, and open channels directly into retention basins, parks, washes, and community lakes.

To meet State permitting requirements, the County has developed a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP), which is administered by the Environmental Services Department Stormwater Quality Program. By incorporating a series of best management practices, the SWMP addresses urban runoff to reduce and potentially eliminate pollution from entering our storm drain system.

What are some of the best management practices used by the County? Our stormwater engineer reviews stormwater pollution prevention plans and our inspectors conduct construction site inspections to verify compliance with the County’s stormwater regulations. The inspectors map stormwater outfalls, identify any illicit discharges to our storm drain system and respond to stormwater pollution-related complaints. To reduce pollution from County facilities, regular inspections are conducted to identify and eliminate potential sources of stormwater pollution.

Education is a great way to reduce pollution and is a key component of the SWMP. The outreach staff develops educational materials, provides presentations to schools, HOAs or other community groups and attends fairs and festivals to help increase awareness. With poster contests, surveys, and clean-up events, we get the community involved in pollution prevention. We also educate our employees. Training County employees to incorporate pollution prevention practices into their daily tasks can reduce pollution originating from our places of work.

Through public education, employee training, inspections, and regulations, the Environmental Services Department Stormwater Quality Program, with the cooperation and collaboration of many other County departments, can fulfill the requirements of the SWMP and protect our environmental quality for us all.

For citizens wishing to learn more about the Stormwater Program and how they may help prevent stormwater pollution, please direct them to our website: maricopa.gov/stormwater or call 602-506-5557. The Stormwater Quality Program also offers classroom education for schools, homeschool and community groups, and businesses; teachers and employers may contact Robert van den Akker Stormwater Quality Program Supervisor (rvandenakker@mail.maricopa.gov or 602-506-6944 ) for more information.


"Fight the Bite"


The mosquito season has started and it is important to protect our families and ourselves from mosquito bites.

The Vector Control Division of the Maricopa County Environmental Services department conducts year-round surveillance of mosquitoes: more than 600 mosquito traps are set throughout the county. These samples are collected throughout the week and tested for West Nile Virus (WNv). 

“The more we can control our mosquito population, the more we can control this virus,” said John Townsend, Environmental Services Department Vector Control Division manager.  “This is why it is very important that we all do our part to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in our yards and neighborhoods,” said Townsend.

Take these precautions to prevent WNv infection:

  • Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home by removing standing water in potted plants, tires, bird baths and other containers where water may collect
  • Remove unnecessary clutter
  • Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of the home
  • Make sure pools and decorative ponds are properly maintained and operational
  • Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves and pants
  • If possible, avoid outdoor activity before dawn and after dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Use insect repellant (following proper label instructions) when exposure to mosquitoes cannot be avoided 

For more information on West Nile virus, to set-up an appointment to obtain mosquito eating fish at no cost to you, to report green pools, file any mosquito related complaint, register on the Fogging Notification System or for WNv materials or presentations for your group/organization, please call the West Nile Virus General Information and Help Line at (602) 506-0700, or visit www.maricopa.gov/wnv

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ESD in the Community

Rio Salado 1

On Sunday May 25th, a group of Environmental Services employees met at 7 am at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration area with one special mission. Along with their family members and friends, this special group joined some community forces on a project to help beautify Maricopa County’s green spaces.

Rio Salado 18

This group of volunteers removed 20 bags of trash and litter for about 3 hours. The Sierra Club provided some tools, work gloves, drinking water refills and snacks!

The Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area stretches along five miles of the Salt River just south of downtown Phoenix. Once a dump site, the Rio Salado is now a lush riparian corridor with five miles of paved and dirt trails. Bird watchers have spotted more than 200 species of birds (and counting...) in the Rio Salado's varied habitats from wetland ponds to mesquite bosques to cottonwood / willow forest.

Thanks to Environmental Services Green Government Committee for coordinating this volunteer event for the department and for forming the largest group among those that participated that day in this community project!

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Resources For You

Need to submit a Complaint?


The Data Center

The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department’s (Department) Data Center Complaint Line assists citizens of Maricopa County with filing concerns/complaints regarding Maricopa County Environmental Health Code (MCEHC) violation allegations that they have observed so that the Department can conduct an investigation. It also provides general information and refers customers to the proper agency if necessary. 

Data Center Mission: To ensure that the Department is in compliance with code mandates through the delivery of quality customer service focusing on consistency, efficiency and effectiveness in order to provide a healthy and safe environment for the residents of Maricopa County. 

Complaint Line staff respond to citizen inquires namely via telephone calls from the public for environmental concerns/complaints, e.g. permits, stormwater, vector control, mosquitoes, flies, waste water (septic tanks), solid waste, public/semipublic swimming pools, roaches, bed bugs and food operations/facilities (food handling/foodborne illness). While on the phone, Complaint Line staff enters complaint information (e.g. the concern, issue location, citizen name and contact information) into the Department’s database. If the call involves questions from a citizen it is then referred to the specific program personnel who will then respond to the concern.  Also, if the concern/complaint pertains to a jurisdiction other than the Department’s and the contact information is known; Complaint line staff will refer the citizen to that agency. For example, barking dog complaints are referred to the appropriate municipality.

Complaint Line staff are the initial Department point of contact for many Maricopa County citizens. In 2013, the Complaint Line filed over 32,000 inquires most of which resulted in complaints being filed through our environmental database system. The Department investigates violations of the Maricopa County Environmental Health Code. The ultimate goal is voluntary compliance. The most effective means to achieve this goal is through open communication with the property owner/ operator.  In the majority of cases, verbal and written communications are sufficient and violations are corrected in a timely manner. 

Complaints can be submitted using several methods:

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Stay More Connected!

Social Media

Follow Us, Like Us, Watch Us and More!

Maricopa County Environmental Services department is constantly working to make effective use of social media. You can subscribe to our YoutTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/MCENVIRO , connect with us at: facebook.com/MaricopaCountyEnvironmentalServices and  twitter.com/MCENVIRO, and now also on pinterest.com/mcesd1!   

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