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  • Frequently Asked Questions

Department: Health

  • Health - Environmental
    • How can I resolve gypsy moth infestation?
    • What is a septic system?

      Wherever running water is supplied to a house or other structure, there must be a sanitary way to remove the used water.

      Where public or central sewage treatment works are not provided, sewage treatment becmes a do-it-yourself operation for the homeowner, who must give careful consideration to collecting, removing, treating and disposing of sewage right on the property where it originates. In other words: an "onsite"septic system.

      The most commons system of "on site" sewage treatment and disposal for a private home in a rural or suburban area consists of a septic tank, which provides a place for large solids to stettle and be decomposed by microorganisms, and a drainfield where fine solids are removed and accompanying bacteria are destroyed.

    • How does a septic tank work?

      A septic tank is a storage tank where sewage is digested by bacteria.  There are three levels in the tank: sludge, liquid and scum.  Sludge, the bottom layer consists of undigestible matter and heavy solids that will not float.  The top layer is a scum that contains grease and lightweight solids that float.  In between the sludge and the scum is the critically active liquid layer that contains water and dissolved materials, such as sugar, detergent and small amounts of suspended solids.

      Solids and scum are digested or decomposed in the tank by bactria that are active in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic bacteria). This process turns up to 50 percent of the solids and scum into liquid and gas.  The liquid is carrried out into the drainfield, and undigestible solids remain in the tank as sludge.

    • How does the drainfield work?

      Each time raw-sewage enters the septic tank, an equal amount of fluid is forced out of the tank. The fluid leaving the tank is called effluent. This effluent may still contain disease organisms. Small amounts of solid matter remaining in the effluent may also move out of the tank to the drainfield.  In the drainfield, the effluent trickles into the soil, where further digestion is carried on by bacteria,and nutrients are absorbed by the soil particles.

    • Who are the Registered and State Licensed Septic Sludge Removal Opeators


      Only Registered Septic Sludge Removers have permits provided to them by the Health Department.  Please contact the office at 973-728-2720 for a current list of licensed contractors.


    • Where can I find specific information on mosquito adulticiding in Passaic County and how will I be notified of the adulticiding?

      Passaic County Mosquito Control complies with current state regulations regarding newspaper publishing of pertinent information in two newspapers.  The newspapers designated by Freeholder resolution for Passaic County are "The Record" and the "Herald News".

      When mosquito adulticiding is scheduled in Passaic County, control sites and spray dates are listed on the County website:

      https://www.passaiccountynj.org/mosquito ,

      and in a recorded message on our telephone Hotline:  973-305-5759.


    • What can the general public do to reduce mosquito incidence?

      Since mosquitoes breed in standing water, elimination of aquatic breeding sites will result in decreased mosquito population.  Anything capable of holding water for four days or longer should be considered a potential mosquito habitat.  Examples of artificial containers that can breed mosquitoes are:  plastic wading pools, cans, recycling containers, bird baths, ornamental pools, tarps, toys, clogged roof gutters, and tires.  Passaic County Mosquito Control can offer control advice for specific situations.  Individual municipalitites can offer their residents advice on tire recycling. 

    • What is west nile virus (WNV)?

      West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can be transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito.  Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on birds that have the virus.

    • What do I need to know about mosquito season?

      The New Jersey Dept of Environmental Protection (DEP) urges residents to take common sense precautions to reduce the risk of contracting mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Once again the DEP this year will cooperate with the state Departments of Health and Senior Services, and Agriculture, as well as Rutgers University and the 21 County Mosquito Agencies.  
      Interested members of the public can find out from their county agency the schedules for any spraying that is performed as a last resort to control adult, flying mosquitoes.  To learn more about mosquito control visit the DEP website at: www.nj.gov/dep/mosquito.

    • Are humans the only ones that can become infected with WNV?

      No, mosquitoes infected with the virus can transmit it through a bite to birds, horses, and other mammals, (crows, squirrels, sheep, ducks and chickens).

    • Can I get WNV from animals or other people?

      No, WNV is not transmitted in this way. WNV is transmitted through a bite from an infectd mosquito.

    • Want more information regarding WNV?

      Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Control (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm or www.lymenet.org.

    • I was bitten by a tick and I still have it. Where can I take it to be tested?


      While routine tick testing is not generally recommended, ticks can be submitted for laboratory analysis to identify their species, if alive, determine whether they carry certain disease-causing orginisms, such as those related to Lyme Disease.  Such knowledge may assist physicians in deciding how best to manage patients, who have had tick exposures.  It should be remembered, however, that prolonged tick attachment (24-48 hours) is generally required for transmission to occur.   Tick testing can also provide useful information to homeowners seeking to assess the Lyme Disease risks around their property  and whether, for instance, chemical control measures should be considered.

      To submit the tick to the NJ Dept. of Health and Senior Services:
      - Place the tick in a test tube or other airtight container (eg. pill jar, film container, baby food jar)
      - Add a moistened piece of paper towel, paper napkin, or cotton.
      - If submission is not immediate, refrigerate tick until submission (no longer than 24-48 hours)
      - Label tick container with your name and fill out a form available at this time from the West Milford Health Dept.

      Mailing Information:
      Mail $25.00 check or money order, payable to NJ Dept.of Health and Senor Services
       Specimen Receiving & Distribution Unit

      NJ Dept. of Health & Senior Services
      Public Health & Environmental Labs
      CN 361
      Trenton, NJ 08625-0361

      Put "Market Street" as address if using delivery service-UPS, Fed Ex, etc.

      For further information call: Special Immunology Testing Unit 609-292-5819

      You can mail the tick to one of several other reliable tick testing centers. Below is a list of several centers in the country. You need to contact each one regarding price, response time, and proper procedure for mailing.  Some centers can not test if alcohol is used.  Others requie it before mailing. 

      Other Tick Testing Centers:

      New Jersey Laboratories
      1110 Somerset St.
      New Brunswick, NJ  08901 
      1-877-TICK TEST 

      Palo alto, California

      Tick Research Laboratory
      Kingston, Rhode Island

      Lyme Disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the United States. 

      For a guide to Understanding and Preventing Transmission, contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

      The NJ Department of Health Lyme Disease Hotline is 1-800-792-8831. 

      The website is www.lymenet.org for further information.

      Free Tick Testing is available at the Bay Area Lyme Foundation which will provide individuals with free, timely informaiton as to whether a tick they have encountered is an infected or uninfected tick. Contact www.bayarealyme.org/lyme-disease-prevention/tick-testing/ for more information.

    • What is the Fertilizer Ordinance & Do you have a list of Applicators?


      West Milford Township has a fertilizer application ordinance that took effect April 17, 2007 (see Code of the Township of West Milford Chapter 138: Fertilizers, Application of).  The purpose of the ordinance is to decrease the amount of phosphorous in the township waterways by limiting the use of fertilizers containing phosphorous.  “Phosphorous fertilizer” means any fertilizer that contains phosphorous expressed as P2O5 with a guaranteed analysis of greater than zero.

      The ordinance prohibits the following conduct:

      • Applying phosphorous fertilizer in outdoor areas except where demonstrated to be necessary by a soils test.
      • Depositing leaves or other vegetative material on roads or within any lake or storm water drainage system.
      • Applying any fertilizer within ten (10) feet of any wetland or body of water, lake, stream, pond, storm drainage system or watercourse.


      • Application of phosphorous fertilizer needed for the establishing of vegetation for the first time, such as after land disturbance.
      • Application of phosphorous fertilizer needed for the re-establishing or repair of a turf area.
      • Application of phosphorous fertilizer that delivers liquid or granular fertilizer under the soil’s surface, directly to the feeder roots.
      • Application of phosphorous fertilizer to residential container plantings, flowerbeds, or vegetable gardens.

      The ordinance also requires that anyone in the business of fertilizer application within the Township to obtain a “Commercial Fertilizer License” from the West Milford Department of Health. 

      Violators shall be subject to a fine up to $2000.00 however; a written warning shall be issued for a first offense in the case of a property owner.



      Township of West Milford


      Department of Health

      1480 Union Valley Road

      West Milford, NJ 07480

      (973) 728-2720       Fax:  (973) 728-2847

       [email protected]


      2010 Licensed Commercial Fertilizer Applicators updated 7/23/10



      CLC Landscape Design, Inc.                    Creative Design Landscaping West Milford, LLC

      58 Ringwood Avenue                               1614-O Union Valley Road, #175

      Ringwood, NJ 07456                                West Milford, NJ 07480

      973-839-6026                                             973-208-3000



      Eco-Lawn                                               Greco Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance

      P.O. Box 123                                           P.O. Box 388

      Butler, NJ 07405                                     Sparta, NJ 07871                                      

      973-476-1057                                          973-209-4306



      Happy Lawns                                          Harvest Lawn Care

      P.O. Box 34                                             P.O. Box 643

      Oak Ridge, NJ 07438                              Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

      973-697-4708                                          973-569-9310



      Lawn Doctor                                           Lawn Doctor

      10 Park Place                                          51 Willow Street  

      Butler, NJ 07405                                     Washington, NJ 07882  

      973-492-9110                                          908-835-8700



      Royal Lawns of NJ, LLC    

      P.O. Box 650

      Flanders, NJ 07836




      TruGreen Lawncare                                 TruGreen LP/Service Master

      118 Route 17 North                                  9 Middlebury Boulevard

      Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458                 Randolph, NJ 07869

      201-258-3500                                            973-306-3610

    • What is the latest information regarding drought in West Milford?

      Latest Update from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection:

      The drought status by the NJ Department of Environment Protection indicates no current resrictions or exemptions in our area at this time.  However, residents are strongly encouraged to conserve water.

      A typical resident uses about 110 gallons of water per day.  About 60% of that water is used in the bathroom.  Home management ideas to conserve water are as follows:

      In the bathroom:
      *Install a new low-flow toilet.  New units give a complete flush with only 1 1/2 gallons per flush.
       *Repair leaky faucets and toilets.
      *Flush toilets less often.  In many cases, the toilet can be used several times for liquid waste before flushing.
      *Take showers, instead of tub baths.  Showers use less water then tubs (about 5 gallons per inch per tub).
      *Take shorter showers.
      *Install low-flush shower heads, hand held showers with pause-control, and temperature balance valve controls.
      *Shut off water in the shower whle lathering and shampooing.
      *Shut off water while shaving and brushing teeth (save up to 5 gallons per minute).

      In the Kitchen:
      *Install low-faucets.
      *Repair leaky faucets.
      *Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running water.
      *When using drinking water treatment devices, be sure there is a shut-off valve, so the system does not run continuously when the reservoir is full.

      In the Laundry and utility room:
      *Select a front-loading washing machine that uses 40% less water.
      *Wash only full loads. Adjust load level settings for small loads.
      *Recharge the water softener as infrequently as possible to reduce water use.

      More information can be found at www.njdrought.org or by calling the NJ Drought Hotline: 1-800-448-4-ITS DRY (1-800-448-7379).

    • Which pesticides are utilized?

      The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers University, is the official body charged with recommending "Insecticides for Mosquito Control in New Jersey."  Passaic County Mosquito Control now utilizes two pesticide formulations:  the first contains the active ingredient malathion, and the second contains the synthetic pyrethroids Prallethrin and Sumithrin and a synergist piperonyl butoxide.  Both malathion formulations and pyrethroid/piperonyl butoxide combinations are recommended for adulticiding in the Rutgers recommendations.  These pesticides are registered for mosquito adulticiding by both the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  The brand name of the first pesiticide currently used is "Fyfanon ULV".  The brand name of the second pesticide currently used is "Duet-Dual Action adulticide".  All personnel applying pesticides are licensed by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

    • How can exposure to mosquito adulticides be reduced?

      General advice when mosquito adulticiding is scheduled includes:  closing windows, shutting off inward blowing fans and air conditioners, sheltering pets for their comfort, suspending outdoor activities during the treatment, and removing clothes from outdoor clotheslines.  Also bring children's toys inside.  If desired, other items left outside can be rinsed with soap and water.   

    • What are the possible acute (short-term) health effects that may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to malathion?

      Contact may possibly irritate eyes and the respiratory tract and in severe cases may cause headaches, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.  Consult your physician for any health evaluations.  Generally, community residents are at a much lower risk than mosquito control workers since the likelihood of becoming sick from chemicals is increased as the amount of exposure increases.  This is determined by the length of time and the amount of material to which someone is exposed.  The New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) phone numbe is 1-800-222-1222.

    • Where can more information be obtained?

      General information can be obtained and requests for service can be reported by phoning Passaic County Mosquito Control at 973-305-754.  There is voice mail at that number so that messages may be left.  For additional information, access the following websites: 


    • What are the possible acute (short-term) health effects that may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to pyrethroids/piperonyl butoxide?

      Symptoms of over-exposure can include irritation to skin and eyes, respiratory and nasal irritation, irritability to sound or touch, abnormal facial sensation, sensation of prickling, tingling or creeping of skin, numbness, headache, dizziness, nausaea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, and fatigue.  The chance of experiencing these symptoms of over-exposure with proper use is low.  You should contact your physician, other medical providers, or the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) at 1-800-222-1222 if you experience these symptoms following a pesticide spraying. 

    • How is Adulticiding done?

      The technique of ULV (ultra low volume) spraying is employed using properly calibrated and serviced truck and/or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) mounted equipment under label mandated and state recommended conditions. 

    • Why does Passaic County Mosquito Control perform adult mosquito control (adulticiding)?

      Passaic County Mosquito Control employs an Integrate Pest management (IPM) or Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) approach to control mosquitoes.  Education, source reduction, water management, stocking of mosquito-eating fish, and mosquito larval control are all utilized in an attempt to control mosquitoes before they reach the adult mosquito stage.  Even though control of mosquitoes is generally most efficiently accomplished in the immature stages, conditions may sometimes necessitate the use of adulticides (adult mosquito control pesticides).  Adult mosquito control is, and always was, a small portion of our entire mosquito control procedure and is the last resort of our program after all other methods have been attempted. 

    • What's in the New Septic Code?

      Environment Health is dealing with new codes, lake sensitive properties and new technology.  The following reasons for why lake properties are so sensitive is because of 1) small lots are close together, there is standard high water table (SHWT) with slow draining soils, adjacent wells, flood hazard areas and freshwater wetlands, 2) they need special NJ DEP permits or a Flood Hazard Areas and Freshwater Wetlands approval, 3) anything within 300’ of a lake in West Milford, must seek special attention/approvals, and 4) Individual Lake Property Owner’s Associations must be contacted when there is any work near the lake communities.

      What’s New in the Code? 

      1. If you take down your house entirely (and this is not just for lake communities), a new septic system that meets code 100% is required.  Even if you do a major renovation, this also means you must upgrade your septic entirely to meet code.  If your septic does not meet code entirely, then a Treatment Works Approval (TWA) from the NJ DEP is required.  If your septic system was installed after 1996, the NJ DEP will make a determination if is acceptable or not.
      2. There are hardships, which include fire and flood.
      3. Effluent septic filters are required on all newly installed septic tanks.
      4. Suitable fill material is required for newly installed septic systems.
      5. Septic tank testing (hydraulic or pressure) is required for all new and existing septic and pump tanks that are installed after April 2, 2012.
      6. Advanced wastewater treatment is required if you cannot meet the 4’ Zone of Treatment requirement for any septic alteration. This is applicable to a very large portion of West Milford.

      What’s New in Technology?

      1. Effluent Filters for Outlet Baffles of Septic Tanks.
      2. Eco-Pods/Septic Tech for inside Septic Tank Treatment.
      3. Peat Fiber Biofilter Wastewatetr Treatment.
      4. Drip Dispersal Systems.
    • What is a Scoping Meeting for Gypsy Moths?

      The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, has scheduled a Gypsy Moth Scoping Meeting for Tuesday, January 7, 2015 from 9 am to 12 Noon in the Board Room of the Health and Agriculture Building. 

      A Health Department representative will be attending the meeting and then updating the County after information is obtained from the meeting.

      The Scoping Meeting is an informational session designed to identify significant issues as they pertain to the proposed spraying of approximately 498 acres of residential and County and municipality properties in Hunterdon, Morris and Passaic Counties.  All treatments will be conducted using aircraft spraying the biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis.

      The purpose of the meetingis to invite the public and othe affeced agencies to discuss new issues and information that have developed during the past year relating to the social economic and biological effects not previously discussed in prior Environmental Impact Statements.

  • Health - Nursing
    • What's In Your Medicine Cabinet?

      What’s in your Medicine Cabinet?  Prescription drug abuse can happen right at home.  Teens are more likely to have abused prescription medications such as Vicodyn, Oxycntin, and Xanax than to have tried illicit drugs including cocaine and ecstasy.  It has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents and young adults where most children start experimenting at the age of 12.

      According to Steven M. Marcus, MD, Pediatrician, Medical Toxicologist and Medical Director of NJPIES, the use of OTC cough and cold preparations by adolescents in search of a “cheap and legal high” has reached near epidemic proportions”. Dr. Marcus stated that over the past 8 years, New Jersey has experienced a steady increase in unintentional poisoning deaths. Currently, the number of deaths related to unintentional poisonings exceeds those of homicides and are quickly approaching the death rates associated with motor vehicle accidents in the state.

      The poison center has launched a study group charged with addressing the issues of unintentional deaths related to poisonings.  Parents, teachers, young adults and teens should educate themselves on the serious and life-threatening consequences of abusing prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Everyone should be aware that sharing your prescription with someone else could threaten his or her lives as well.

      Help is only a phone call away.  For more information regarding drugs of abuse, call the Poison control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Services are free and confidential.  The hotline is accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.  Hearing impaired may call 973-926-8008.