Maryland's Nitrogen-Reducing Septic Upgrade Program
There are approximately 420,000 septic systems in Maryland. Of these, 52,000 systems are located within the “Critical Area,” land within 1,000 feet of tidal waters. The typical septic system does not remove nitrogen, instead delivering about 24.32 pounds of nitrogen per year to the groundwater. An upgraded, nitrogen-removing septic system cuts a system’s nitrogen load in half. The Maryland Department of the Environment has upgraded over 3,000 septic systems to nitrogen removing Best Available Technology (BAT) through the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) Onsite Sewer Disposal System (OSDS) grant program.
Due to very high demand, the Maryland Department of the Environment now prioritizes funding for septic system upgrades toward those systems that pose the greatest threat to clean waterways and drinking water. In accordance with State law, the Bay Restoration Fund prioritizes upgrades as follows:
1. Failing OSDS or holding tanks in the Critical Areas
2. Failing OSDS or holding tanks not in the Critical Areas
3. Non-failing OSDS in the Critical Areas including new BAT installation
4. Non-failing OSDS outside the Critical Areas
County Contacts - Effective July 1, 2010, the Septic BAT Program will be implemented by local County Health Departments or Other parties.
BRF Implementation Guidance (Updated) FY 2014
Best Available Technology
Best Available Technology selection process
Q & A - Guidance for Implementing Revised COMAR 26.04.02.07: Best Available Technology for Removal of Nitrogen (BAT)
Field Verified Sampling Results
Bay Restoration Fund Operation and Maintenance Guidance
County Reporting Form (Grant Administrator use Only)
Additional Information and Related Links
The Maryland Department of the Environment thanks you for your continued interest and support of this important program.
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