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Septic Regulations in Maryland

Septic System Ownership in Maryland

Maryland is the forty-second largest state and the nineteenth most populous state in the US. According to data from 2005, one in five Marylanders use onsite sewage disposal systems (OSDS) – also known as septic systems – to dispose of household waste. As a result, environmental monitors have seen a decline in water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of the Environment regulates septic systems in Maryland and oversees the Bay Restoration Fund, which was created by law in 2004 to provide improved OSDS technology throughout the state and reduce excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the Bay.

Regulation of Septic Systems/Septic Contractors in Maryland

The Maryland Department of the Environment standardizes all sewage disposal systems in Maryland. Their responsibilities include issuing permits, licensing septic system installers, and managing complaints.

Aerobic treatment units, mounds, and alternative soil absorption designs are covered in current regulations available from The Maryland Department of the Environment. Alternative treatment technologies are approved on a per-case basis. Use of experimental systems is approved for system failures.

Authorized septic treatment and disposal systems approved for use in Maryland include waterless toilets with grey water, groundwater injection, wetlands treatment, spray irrigation, gravelless chamber systems, evapotranspiration beds, recirculating sand filters, and drip irrigation.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

The Maryland Department of the Environment administers an onsite certification program for septic system installers. The certification and licensing program provides a thorough septic system curriculum through The Maryland Center for Environmental Training. This education is offered at The Charles County Community College.

How to File a Complaint

If you are concerned that a local septic system may pose a health risk, your first step is to contact your city hall. If they cannot help, then contact your local health department, or The Maryland Department of the Environment.

If you are dissatisfied with the service provided to you by a septic system company, you can contact The Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, or the Better Business Bureau.

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