The Worcester County Department of Environmental Program is revising procedural requirements related to the issuance of permits for septic disposal systems. The role of the department will no longer be to prepare plans pursuant to the issuance of a septic permit. Instead, the department will act only as a reviewing, inspection, and permitting agency concerning the plans submitted by the contractor or a designer. This is due to a directive from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) that plans for septic must be developed and submitted for approval by qualified private sector designers. These designers can include septic contractors, other septic professionals, or engineers. Plans for engineered systems such as sand mounds, at-grade systems, pressure dosed trenches, and innovative systems currently are required to be prepared by qualified private sector designers. This procedure will now extend to all septic, including less complex conventional systems that rely on gravity distribution methods. The department will still be engaged in the process and will provide designers with the test results and site evaluation and other data that designs are to be based upon.
The criteria for acceptable designs are found in the Code of Maryland Regulations, COMAR Chapter 26.04.02: Sewage Disposal and Certain Water Systems for Homes and Other Establishments Where a Public Sewage System is Not Available. Find the regulations by searching for "Comar code 24.04.02" at https://dsd.maryland.gov/Pages/COMARSearch.aspx.
Plans will need to be approved by the department so a septic permit can be issued prior to building permit signoff being granted. The department will continue to provide site evaluation data for projects, provide preliminary specifications for use by septic designers, and as necessary, instructions for interested septic designers in order to implement this change in permitting as effectively as possible. Please contact the department at 410-632-1220 for additional information.