County Health Department Reminds Property Owners of Requirements for Operating a Campground

OSWEGO – As event organizers prepare for the running of Super DIRT Week at the Oswego Speedway in early October, the Oswego County Health Department wants property and business owners to be aware that a permit is required to operate a campground in Oswego County, including those located in the city of Oswego.

The New York State Sanitary Code defines a campground as a parcel or tract of land, including buildings or other structures, where five or more campsites are available for temporary or seasonal overnight occupancy.

Campgrounds operating less than 60 hours in any calendar year are exempt.

The sanitary code contains detailed specifications regarding campground infrastructure, operation and related requirements.

A copy of the code is available at

“All campgrounds, including temporary campgrounds, must obtain a permit and comply with health regulations to assure the health and safety of the public. Temporary campground permits are typically obtained when short-term camping occurs in conjunction with a specific event, such as a music festival, fair, race or holiday,” said Natalie Roy, principal public health sanitarian for the Oswego County Health Department.

To obtain a campground permit, call the County Health Department’s Environmental Division weekdays at 315-349-3557 or visit the office located at 70 Bunner St.,  Oswego.

A completed application packet must be submitted at least two weeks before the planned date of operation.

Some municipalities require special zoning approvals and owners should also notify the local city, town, or village government if a campground is being proposed.

An application to operate a campground must be submitted with the appropriate permit application fee and include a site plan indicating the location of the property, location and size of all campsites, campground roads, buildings, restrooms, source of safe water, garbage storage facilities, and plans for wastewater disposal or scavenger septic tank services.

Portable facilities such as toilets and hand-washing units may be used for short-term campgrounds.

The health department may request additional information on a case-by-case basis.

“A campground owner or manager is responsible for monitoring the campground for overall safety and sanitation to ensure that all facilities are in working order and good repair, and that the campground is maintained in a clean and orderly fashion,” said Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “Other considerations include containment of camp fires and making sure there is emergency vehicle access to all campsites.”

The health department advises people who own a business or property where RVs could park overnight during local events, who don’t want to operate a campground, to post “No Overnight Parking” signs and advise squatters to leave the premises.

There are 30 permitted campgrounds containing more than 3,600 sites in Oswego County.

A list of campgrounds may be found at