Water & Wastewater

Private Wells

All private wells require a construction permit prior to installation. This permit ensures that the well is located away from sources of pollution and is also constructed properly To protect the city's ground water resource. The fee for this service is $77.50. For more information call 757-683-2712.

Swimming Pools

All public pools are inspected during the swimming season to ensure bather safety. Environmental Health Specialists conduct tests on water samples and ensure pools are properly constructed and maintained.

Swimming pools can be the source of many diseases and injuries. The proper construction and maintenance of public swimming pools and spas is of significant public health importance. Should there be an incident of fecal contamination click here for information necessary for sanitary operation of the pool. Annual pool seminars are held in the spring of each year, hosted by various health departments, with the goal of educating and certifying swimming pool operators. Basic knowledge of water treatment for swimming pools and the ability to perform the chemical tests necessary to maintain safe water quality are covered. The code requires that a certified pool operator manage the operation of the pool and that there be posting of water quality test results. The fee for this service is $25.

Swimming pools and spas are covered under Chapter 43 of the Norfolk City Code. For more information call 757-683-2712.

Recreational Water Sampling Program

The Bureau of Environmental Health routinely monitors approximately 34 sampling sites throughout the city from the Chesapeake Bay, the Lafayette and Elizabeth rivers for pathogenic bacterial contamination. Samples are taken from primary contact (swimmable) and secondary contact (used for boating and water skiing) waters to check for levels of fecal coliform and enterococcus, in addition to other organisms indicative of pollution, along with ph, salinity and dissolved oxygen. These indicator organisms can be found in the natural environment as well as in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. When present, they indicate the possible presence of disease causing bacteria, viruses or protozoa. When bacterial levels exceed established recreational water standards, re-sampling and an investigation would occur.

Beach advisories or closures can occur when a suspected environmental hazard or real sewage discharge occurs or elevated bacteriological levels can be linked to a known sewage discharge. Samples are collected from the affected areas and the beaches are kept closed until sampling data indicates established recreational water standards are met. Heavy rainfalls can also cause higher levels of bacteria as wastes from yards and streets are discharged into the waters through the storm sewers.

Information on beach sanitation may be viewed at EPA's Office of Water site. For more information call 757-683-2712.

Marina Sanitation

The Commonwealth of Virginia has sanitary regulations for marinas and boat moorings. The regulations establish minimum requirements as to adequacy of sewerage facilities serving the boat slips as well as the persons the marinas are designed to accommodate.

The Division of Wastewater Engineering reviews the technical aspects of applications, plans, and specifications and issue certificates of adequacy for sewerage facilities. The Marine Resources Commission is notified when a certificate is issued or denied. The local Office of Environmental Health inspects for compliance with the regulations to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness of the facility and issue permits. Information about the Marina Program may be accessed at vdhweb/marina/index.htm. or call 757-683-2712 for more information.