Monmouth County Health Department Newsletter: July-August 2019

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monmouth county health department

July-August 2019

Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program

The Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) has begun its weekly beach water quality sampling program. Forty-seven guarded beaches in the County's coastal region are monitored for Enterococcus bacteria to ensure safe bathing in coastal waters.  Bathing water is also monitored for other potential hazards, such as medical waste and algae blooms, to ensure public safety.  In 2018, the MCHD collected over 1000 bathing water samples. Sample results can be found at

Preventing Mosquito Bites

Once again, it is the time of year to Fight the Bite! There are two different, but equally important, steps to help you from getting bitten by mosquitoes.

  1. Eliminate any standing water on your property. All mosquitoes use standing water to develop from the egg stage to the adult stage. Read the list of potential habitats for mosquito larvae.
  2. Use insect repellents when you are outdoors. Whenever outdoors, use a mosquito repellent on exposed skin having one of the following active ingredients: picaridin, DEET, IR-3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always follow product label directions.
  3. If you have a mosquito problem, submit a request for service to the County's Mosquito Control Division at 732-542-3630 or online.

Royal Flush Sewage PumpOut Boat

Royal Flush Pump Out Boat

The Royal Flush is owned and maintained by the MCHD and operated by the NY/NJ Baykeeper organization through a cooperative agreement established in 2015. Since 2001, the Royal Flush has serviced over 16,400 boats and properly disposed of over 591,000 gallons of sewage.  In 2018, 683 boats were serviced and 23,200 gallons of sewage were disposed.


The Royal Flush operates Fridays and Saturdays from May 17 to October 12, 2019, weather permitting. Approximate hours of operation are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The pump out boat will be in operation on summer holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.)  Service is available on the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers.


Boaters can contact the Royal Flush by radio on VHF Channel 9 or by cell at 732-890-6142 on days the Royal Flush is operating. Service will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.


For more information, contact the MCHD at 732-431-7456 (press option 3).

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August highlighting the importance of vaccination  for people of all ages. NIAM encourages people to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them.


MCHD provides childhood immunizations free to children from birth to 18 years old who are uninsured and live in a participating town with the Monmouth County Board of Health. With parental permission, the children will be entered into a statewide immunization registry, which encourages timely and age appropriate immunizations. 


Services for children are provided at the Monmouth County Social Services Building, 3000 Kozloski Rd. Freehold, NJ 07728. To make an appointment, call 732-294-5458. Year round clinic days are Mondays, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., and 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

For Adults (18 and over) Influenza, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis, Hepatitis A and B and Meningococcal immunizations are available. To make arrangements, call 732-431-7456.

Selling Property with a Septic System:
What an Owner Needs to Know

In New Jersey, there is a specific regulation written to oversee the approval, construction and operation of individual sewage disposal systems which are also known as septic systems.  Compliance with this regulation may sometimes affect owners trying to sell their properties.


For example, the sale of properties with cesspools is prohibited.  A cesspool is a covered pit with open jointed lining which allows untreated sewage to discharge into the surrounding soil, this must be upgraded prior to sale.  This involves hiring an engineer, having plans approved by the Health Department and having the new system installed.


This is a time-consuming and costly undertaking so owners of older properties or owners who have no idea what they have on their property should investigate to see if this will affect them before attempting to sell the property.


The current code also includes protocols for septic systems inspections performed by either the buyer or seller.  Inspectors hired by either buyer or seller must comply with inspection protocols and are required to provide a copy of any unsatisfactory report to the Health Department.  A common issue found during these inspections is homes with more “bedrooms” than the system was designed to handle. This could happen when an owner renovates a dwelling or finishes a basement to include a space meeting the definition of a bedroom. In many cases, this will require a system upgrade. Other common problems may include faulty septic tank baffles and flooded system(s) overflows. Owners are advised to contact the Health Department upon receiving any report listing unsatisfactory findings.


Another common resale issue is the installation and use of a sewage ejector pump for basement plumbing fixtures. The last code revision included requirements for larger septic tanks and disposal areas for homes using these pumps.  Many homes are failing septic inspections depending on when the work was completed and if permits were obtained. Homeowners should contact their Municipal Construction office to check that the appropriate permits were obtained for any basement remodeling involving plumbing.


Commercial properties on septic systems are usually designed on type of use and may be subject to additional regulations.  Any change in use must be certified by an engineer or upgraded to current standards. Commercial landlords are advised to consult the Health Department before moving in new tenants.


Property sellers are also advised to contact their municipality regarding specific ordinance requirements for septic system sales or rentals in their town. Some towns require health department certification and others do not. Sellers should be aware that Health Department certification can sometimes involve a time delay and/or system upgrades, as the Department cannot certify a non-compliant system.

Free Monthly Eye Screening

Vision screenings are provided by the MCHD and NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. A visual acuity test measures your eyes ability to see letters far away and close up. If appropriate, a prescription for eyeglasses will be written. Screenings are held on the second Monday of every month, from 3-6 p.m. at 50 East Main Street in Freehold.  For an appointment, call 732-431-7456. 

Food Safety at Fairs and Festivals

Fairs and festivals are exciting events and there are always fun things to see and experience, including art work, music, games, and rides. One of the biggest draws to these events is the many different types of foods and drinks available


Follow THESE TIPS to have a safe cooking, eating and drinking experience at those events.

People at the Monmouth County Fair

Healthy Traveler Program

Since 1998, MCHD has offered an International Traveler Program providing tailored education as well as vaccinations for travelers. Since the program's inception, over 1,500 travelers have received preventive education and vaccinations prior to travel.


The Healthy Traveler Program was established to assist our residents with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for vaccination of individuals traveling internationally based on the destination of travel and diseases endemic to that area.  Information is provided on current health bulletins, mosquito and tick borne diseases in the area, safe food and water practices, access to medical care in the area and other information based on their destination. MCHD is the only health department based travel program in New Jersey and continues to offer our residents the opportunity to learn how to have a healthy safe trip. Please call 732-431-7456 for additional information.

County Public Health Coordinator Wins Service Award

MCHD Christopher Merkel receives NJAC award. He is pictured with County Administrator Teri O'Connor.

Monmouth County Public Health Coordinator Christopher P. Merkel was recently presented with a County Service Award at the 2019 New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) Annual Conference in Atlantic City.


Each spring, NJAC presents county service awards to county professionals that demonstrate leadership and commitment to county government and NJAC. Moreover, County officials from across the State share ideas, participate in educational workshops and informative panel discussions at this celebration of county government.


“Mr. Merkel has had a tremendous impact on the municipalities that the Health Department serves during his tenure as Public Health Coordinator,” said Freeholder Susan M. Kiley, liaison to the MCHD. “His leadership and knowledge of public health has been a huge asset to not only the County, but also the State.”

Did you know?

The Deadliest Animal in the World is...

The mosquito, accounting for approximately 750,000 human deaths per year, ranks as the deadliest animal on Earth. Malaria, just one disease spread by mosquitoes, is responsible for 600,000 deaths per year. By comparison, sharks kill an average of six people, elephant attacks approximately 500 people and snakes slither in with about 100,000 deaths per year.

Board of Health Members

Brian Charnick, Acting President 
Ellynn Kahle
Ross Licitra
Andrew Wardell


Susan M. Kiley
Deputy Director Patrick Impreveduto


Christopher P. Merkel M.P.H., H.O.

Public Health Coordinator

Board of Health Meetings

Board of Health Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., unless otherwise specified in our Calendar of Events. The meetings take place in the Small Conference Room of the Monmouth County Health Department, 50 East Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728


Monmouth County Seal 2018