The Board of Health is responsible for ensuring that proper health standards are maintained within the Borough. The Board of Health is the only municipal organization besides the Mayor and Council with the power to enact ordinances. The Board of Health also oversees that Borough Ordinances, intended to guarantee healthy living circumstances in Old Tappan, are respected.
The Board regulates the maintenance of food and beverage vending machines and retail food establishments, controls the keeping of animals, authorizes the inspection of premises by the health officer, and oversees and regulates other establishments in order to guarantee healthy living circumstances. The Board of Health also annually contracts with the Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission, an organization that provides a variety of health-related services. For information on these services, see Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission.
Walk-In Health Clinic
Old Tappan Board of Health provides free adult walk-in clinics the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 1:00 - 3:00 PM at the firehouse. The clinic is staffed by a Bergen Community Health Care nurse and offers such services as blood pressure screening, health consultation, and educational and medical referrals.
Food Handler Training Course
The Board has enacted an ordinance establishing a Food Handler Training Course.This course provides training for any person having the responsibility of overseeing employees engaged in the preparing or processing of food or drink intended for human consumption.Successful completion of the course will result in issuance of a food handler’s certificate renewable every two years.All retail food establishments will be required to have in their employment a supervisor who has a valid food handler’s certificate on the premises at all such times that the establishment is in operation or open for business.Please see the specific ordinance for more detailed information.
Smoke-Free Air Act
Effective April 15, 2006, indoor public places and workplaces in the State of New Jersey will be smoke free.The Smoke-Free Air Act (P.L. 2005, c.383) prohibits smoking in indoor public places to protect employees and the public from secondhand smoke.“No Smoking” signs stating that violators may be fined must be prominently posted at every public entrance and properly maintained when smoking is prohibited.Compliance to the act is the responsibility of the person having control of an indoor public place or place of employment.Employees and the public may report violations of the law to their local health department.For more information about the act visit www.smokefree.nj.gov.
West Nile Virus Season
As warmer weather approaches the potential for seeing West Nile Virus increases. West Nile Virus is one of a family of viruses that can be transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito.Mosquitoes can become infected with WNV by feeding on birds that have the virus in their bloodstream.Birds, especially crows and blue jays, appear to be highly sensitive to the virus and provide a barometer to detect WNV in our community.For this reason we ask you to be alert to any dead birds found on your property.Birds that appear to have recently died can be submitted to the Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission for testing.Birds showing signs of decay, decomposition, or infestation with maggots should not be submitted for testing.Birds can be submitted by placing each bird into a separate one-gallon clear plastic bag with an “Easy Close Slider/Zipper”. There is no evidence to date suggesting that humans can get WNV by touching a dead bird.However, it is strongly suggested for general sanitary reasons that you use protective gloves when handling any sick or injured bird.For more information visit www.state.nj.us/health/cd/westnile/brochure.pdf.
Child Health Conference Services
The Old Tappan Board of Health has contracted with the Hillsdale Board of Health to provide Child Health Conference Services to Old Tappan residents.These services provide for child health conferences for comprehensive preventive health care of infants and preschool children, with particular emphasis on the medically indigent, based upon the current Department of Health and Senior Services publication, "Guidelines For the Child Health Conference".They also provide for information and guidance on physical, emotional, nutritional, and cognitive development of infants and preschool children through child health conferences and home nursing visits.
For more information on the duties and responsibilities of the Board of Health, see the Borough Code.
Board of Health meetings are generally held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Borough Hall. Residents are welcome to attend.
Press Release Private Well Testing Act
New Jersey's Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) became effective September 14, 2002 for all real estate transfers serviced by private wells. A second phase of testing requirements for all leased properties will be effective on March 14, 2004. All lessors of properties with private wells must test the water by a state certified PWTA lab by March 14th and provide a written copy of the results to all tenants. The water must then be retested every five years. Any new tenant must be given a copy of the most recent results. Further information can be obtained at the PWTA website: www.state.nj.us/dep/pwta or call Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission at (201) 445-7217.
Well Water Testing
Our program includes tests for volatile organics (chemicals related to cancer), lead, coliform bacteria, nitrates (an indicator of fertilizer and sewage contamination) and arsenic in home well water. Results will be mailed to the homeowner and are confidential. Test kits include water containers for all five tests with easy to follow instructions.
The cost of the five tests is $200.00, payable in advance to N.W.B.R.H.C. Residents can pick up the kits at our office, located at 22 W. Prospect St., Waldwick, anytime. We are on W. Prospect St. between Franklin Turnpike and the railroad tracks. The office is open Monday - Friday, 8:30-4:00.
Testing samples will be accepted monthly on the first Monday of each month. Residents return kits to our office in Waldwick, from 8:30-10:00 A.M. This program is NOT intended for use during home sales. It does NOT comply with the Private Well Testing Act. For further information, call (201) 445-7217.
Abandoning Your Septic System
A young father on Long Island playing ball with his kids was swallowed up by a cesspool in his yard and died. In Wanaque, 3 children jumping in their kiddy pool fell into a septic tank and drowned when the tank lid broke. Freak accidents? Yes. Preventable? ABSOLUTELY! Proper maintenance of your active septic system and proper abandonment of your system when connecting to the sewer will prevent problems in the future.
The state sanitary code requires that when connecting to a sewer line, all septic tanks, seepage pits, dosing tanks, dry wells and cesspools must be emptied of waste and filled completely with gravel, stones, sand or soil. Old Tappan also requires that a septic abandonment application be filed by the contractor with the health department. This application is reviewed carefully to assure that all components have properly been abandoned compared to the site plans on file in the department.
Proper maintenance of your active system would include pumping every three years and checking the baffles (pipes inside the tank that insure proper solids retention) and lids of the tank for problems.
Also, acquaint yourself with the site plan showing where all components are located. Any unexpected sinkage or soggy soil over a tank or pit should be checked out immediately. Avoid hydraulically overloading your system with plumbing leaks, misplaced downspouts, sump discharges and excessive laundry. Proper maintenance will prolong the life of your septic system and delay the necessity of hooking up to the sewer line until you are ready to do it. For further information, call Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission at (201) 445-7217.