Septic or Sewer?
Calvert County is taking the lead in helping citizens and developers figure out how they’re affected by Maryland’s new law restricting residential development served by septic systems.
For the Chesapeake watershed, the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 helps reduce pollution and meet federal Clean Water Act limits on pollutants reaching waterways.
Closer to home, it means the geography in the watershed controls where development goes by way of what sewerage system is legal.
The law, which affects mostly proposed developments, establishes four tiers of land that identify where residential subdivisions may be located and what type of sewerage system will serve them. The point is to move septic systems out of critical and vulnerable areas because only the most expensive septic system can take out nitrogen as well as an advanced sewer system.
Maps being drawn up in Calvert will show citizens in which tier their property falls.
The law goes into effect July 1. Grandfathering will give developers some leeway, bypassing the new regulations for preliminary plans into the county by October 1.
“Basically, people who want to develop land now on a drainfield or not soon to be served by sewer need to step out now,” says Chuck Johnson, Calvert’s director of planning and zoning.