Housing & Institutions

The quality of our housing is a significant determinant of health, affecting the physical, social, and mental well-being of each resident. Our housing and institutions program helps to ensure that day camps, organized camps, and institutions are maintained and operated in a safe and sanitary manner. The Department of Environmental Health does this by conducting annual inspections of detention facilities, day-use camps, and organized camps.

This department responds to complaints related to sewage spills, rodents and pests, excessive animal waste, garbage in or around housing units, and hazardous waste by investigating and ensuring that the problem is resolved. When filing a complaint, please be advised that there are some situations that the Department of Environmental Health does not investigate as they are out of our jurisdiction. Our office is, however, more than happy to assist you with contacting the correct agency and/or department.

Conditions NOT Investigated by Environmental Health:

  • Bedbugs
  • Landlord/Tenant or Tenant/Tenant disputes of a civil nature (i.e.: non-payment of rent, breach of contract, etc.)
  • Noise complaints
  • Unsightly appearance (weathered paint, worn carpets, holes in screens, etc.)
  • Non-structural/sanitation complaints for Section 8 Housing
  • Mold
  • Animal Control (i.e. incessant barking, aggression, several animals)

Complaints can be made by calling the Environmental Health office at (530) 283-6355, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. We do require your name and phone number to process the complaint. ALL personal information is confidential unless a subpoena requests the complaint form be submitted.


Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found throughout California. It is associated with uranium that exists in all rock and soil, therefore creating high concentrations in buildings and homes. While certain areas tend to contain higher levels than others, radon is really a house-to-house issue. For instance, though you may live in an area of low radon concentrations, your house and your neighbor's house can have two totally different levels of concentration - while yours is elevated, your neighbor's is low. At certain concentrations, radon poses an increased risk for lung cancer. In fact, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.

In its natural state, radon cannot be detected through human senses. It is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. The only way to detect it is through home test kits, which can be purchased through the California Department of Public Health for $7.95. For more information or to make an order, visit the Alpha Energy Laboratories website or call 1-800-324-5928

Buying or Selling a Home


Molds are fungi, growing throughout the natural and built environment. Tiny particles of mold are present in indoor and outdoor air. In nature, molds help to break down dead materials and can be found growing on soil, foods, plant matter, and other items. They produce microscopic cells called "spores" that are very tiny and spread easily through the air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths or colonies when they find the right habitable conditions such as damp dry wall and wood.

When mold is free to grow in habitable structures such as a home, health problems and damage to materials, goods, and furnishings can and do occur.

Mold clean-up guidelines (PDF)

Mold in homes (PDF)

Mold- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Indoor Mold - Department of Public Health


Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.

Asbestos in the Home

Asbestos consultants (PDF)


Frequently Asked Questions - CDC

Lead-based paint information (PDF)

Prevent Childhood Lead Poisoning (PDF)