Arkansas Department of Health

ADH, as it relates to nonpoint source pollution, protects the health of all Arkansas’ citizens by providing technical assistance, analytical services, training, regulation, and public education related to public and private water, waste disposal and other systems.  The 22-member Board of Health provides policy oversight and is appointed by the Governor.  The Governor also appoints the Director of the Department of Health. 

  • Public Water Systems Regulation and Enforcement.  ADH regulates and provides oversight of public water systems throughout the state. This program consists of plan review of new water system facility construction, inspection of water system facilities, troubleshooting water treatment and distribution problems, investigating complaints and collecting and analyzing samples to determine water quality. ADH also performs related functions, such as review of new sewer system construction plans, inspection of proposed cemetery sites and provision of water system operator training and certification.  ADH promulgates rules to ensure public water systems adhere to EPA regulations.
  • The Wellhead Protection (WHPP) Program is a pollution prevention and management program used to protect underground sources of drinking water. The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1986 specified that certain program activities, such as delineation, contaminant source inventory, and source management, be incorporated into State Wellhead Protection Programs, which are approved by EPA prior to implementation.

  • Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP).  The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 required the states to develop and implement Source Water Assessment Programs (SWAP) to analyze existing and potential threats to the quality of the public drinking water sources throughout the state.  States were given considerable flexibility in design of their programs.  A state SWAP includes: delineating the source water assessment areas, conducting contaminant source inventories, determining the susceptibility of each public water supply source to contamination from the inventoried sources, and releasing the results of the assessments to the public.

  • Individual Sewage Disposal Systems.  ADH approves and inspects individual disposal systems, including alternate and experimental sewage system applications and subdivisions.  ADH also issues annual licenses for septic tank manufacturers, installers and pumpers and provides training for professional staff and industry personnel, as well as education materials for rural homeowners.

  • Subdivisions.  ADH consults with developers on proper sewage disposal plans for proposed subdivisions; provides information on soil suitability determinations which may determine lot size and the number of lots; and reviews plans for drinking water supply and sewage disposal.
  • Septic Tank Cleaning.  Septic tank cleaners are required to pass a test and pay an annual fee for each vehicle in order to be licensed.  ADH conducts an annual inspection of all pumping vehicles and monitors documentation of the legal sites where tank cleaners dispose of septage waste.

  • Outdoor Bathing Places & Swimming Beaches.  ADH consults with the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas State Parks and private individuals concerning the development and operation of swim beaches.  ADH monitors bacteriological water quality throughout the swimming season.  ADH administers regulations in compliance with EPA recommendations.
  • Environmental Complaints.  ADH responds to environmental complaints involving vectors, marine sanitation, garbage, sewage and other basic sanitation regulations.