Shawnee County Health Department

Leading the way to a healthier Shawnee County.

Environmental Health

Location of Authority for Different Environmental Health Program Areas

Unincorporated County (Excludes Topeka, Auburn, Rossville, Silver Lake and Willard)

All of Shawnee County

Nuisances Childcare Licensing
Water/Wastewater Communicable Diseases
  Health Officer
  Public Health Education
  Solid Waste

Animal Quarantines for Rabies

When it is suspected an animal may have been exposed to rabies, the Shawnee County Health Department will help ensure the proper steps are followed for continued safety. Rabies is a serious health condition that may come from being exposed to an animal who may carry the disease. When there is an animal bite, the Shawnee County Health Department will work with all involved parties to help ensure the continued safety of everyone. Sometimes, this results in an animal being quarantined for a specific amount of time to determine rabies status.

It is the role of the Shawnee County Health Department to determine the time required for quarantine of the animal, as well as the proper location for quarantine to take place.

To find a topic faster, click on the links below:

  • Bedbugs
  • Prevention
  • Mold
  • Nuisance Complaints
  • Nuisance Description
  • Pursuing Complaints
  • Refuse and Solid Waste
  • School Health and Safety Inspections
  • Septic/Waste Water
  • Well Water Quality

  • Bedbugs

    Bedbugs can be concerning, but are not know to carry diseases. They are more of an annoyance than anything else. They can be hard to get rid of once they are infested in a home. The Shawnee County Health Department can provide information and resources on bedbugs.


    The best way to prevent a bedbug infestation is to do regular checks for signs of bedbugs. Signs of bedbugs include:

    • the bed bugs exoskeletons after molting,
    • bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets,
    • rusty‐colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and
    • a sweet musty odor.

    You can view answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding bedbugs.


    The Shawnee County Health Department will take complaints regarding mold issues. If residents feel they have a mold issues within their house, they can call the Shawnee County Health Department. While we don't do mold testing, we can provide information and education on how to clean up mold issues.

    In order to identify the type of mold, residents would need to take a sample to a private lab for testing.

    Nuisance Complaints

    Explore the types of nuisances the Shawnee County Health Department has jurisdiction over and in what way those nuisances will be handled.

    The Shawnee County Code gives the authority to deal with nuisances to the Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD) under the following conditions:

    • Any lot or parcel of ground in any platted subdivision of the County
    • Any parcel of land four acres or less adjacent to an occupied residence, located outside the corporate limits of a city
    • Any part of the county, in the case of abandoned vehicles

    SCHD may also use the Kansas State Nuisance Statute on any property in the county and usually starts a nuisance investigation because it received a complaint.

    Nuisance Description

    According to the Code, a nuisance is any condition which:

    • Injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, safety, or welfare of the public
    • Offends decency
    • Is offensive to the senses
    • Unlawfully interferes with, obstructs or tends to obstruct, or renders dangerous for passage any public or private street, highway, sidewalk, stream, ditch, or drainage
    • In any way renders another person insecure in life or the use of property
    • Essentially interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property, or tends to depreciate the value of the property of another

    Pursuing Complaints

    SCHD is mainly concerned with nuisances that affect public health and in consultation with the County Counselor and the Health Officer, will decide which complaints to pursue if there is an issue of the complaint being a public health or private issue.

    More Information

    To read more in depth on the subject of Nuisance Complaints, please read Shawnee County Code Ch. 23, Article III.

    Refuse and Solid Waste

    All Shawnee County Residents are required to have refuse service. The Shawnee County Health Department is responsible for the licensing of trash haulers in the county and handles complaints regarding trash companies as well as individuals who do not have trash service.

    Solid Waste Management Plan Home Rule HR 2015-5

    School Health and Safety Inspections

    Once a year, the Shawnee County Health Department inspects all schools within the County for health and safety issues. Things such as proper lighting, sanitary conditions, chemical storage and outside safety issues are focuses of these inspections.

    Septic/Waste Water

    A septic system consists of two main parts-a septic tank and a disposal field. The septic tank is a watertight box, usually made of concrete or fiberglass. The septic tank treats the wastewater naturally by holding it in the tank long enough for solids and liquids to separate. The effluent then drains into some sort of treatment system. The septic system is sized primarily based on a perk test and total number of bedrooms. Permits are required for all new septic installations and the repair of existing systems.

  • Drawing Requirements
  • Percolation Test Application
  • Site Evaluation Application
  • Ryans Soil Percolation Testing
  • Septic Application

  • Well Water Quality

    Shawnee County Health Department offers screening and testing for potable water on all wells, as requested. If a resident has well water and would like to have the quality of the water screened and tested, the Shawnee County Health Department is available to conduct the testing.

    Contact Us

    Environmental Health

    1515 NW Saline St., Ste 221
    Topeka, KS 66618




    Monday - Friday
    8:00 am - Noon
    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    Evenings and weekends are available by request.