Well and Septic Program

The Well and Septic Program is ensures that the installation and repair of all drinking water wells and on-site

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sewage disposal systems in Howard County are performed properly. Our program reviews all proposed designs for on-site sewage disposal systems to ensure they follow State and Local regulations. Environmental Health Specialists conduct inspections of wells and onsite sewage disposal systems and test water from private drinking wells to protect residents from diseases associated with germs found in wastewater.

Well and Septic Public Files Search

The Bureau of Environmental Health has completed a multi-year project converting paper files to electronic records that are now available on our website.The Public Files Search link contains Health Department Well and Septic Program residential property files from approximately 1985 to the present. Some properties constructed before 1985 may contain a file in this system if activity such as a building permit or sewage disposal system repair occurred after 1985. 

Search Public Records by clicking here.

Non-residential properties, undeveloped lots, subdivision master files, properties in which development is ongoing, and properties in which no activity has occurred since before approximately 1985 are not in this system. If you do not find the property file in this system, please submit a  Public Information Act Request.

Code Revision
A revision to the Code of Maryland Regulations will become effective on November 24, 2016. It eliminates the requirement for BAT (Best Available Technology) units on all new construction and upgrades in the non-critical areas of the State, including Howard County. Some properties may still require BAT units based on site specific conditions. A guidance document explaining how this change affects properties in Howard County is provided in the COMAR BAT Revision Memo. A list of requirements for sewage system design plans not utilizing BAT is provided in the OSDS Design Plan Requirements.

Onsite Sewer Disposal Systems - Fact Sheet
Click on the Fact Sheet below to see the entire document.
Fact Sheet onsite sewage disposal system

Wet Season Testing 2018

Wet season testing for applications previously submitted to the Health Department is underway during the week of April 30-May 4. We will continue to monitor the water table levels and may open a full wet season for additional applications if conditions become favorable. Please contact the Well and Septic Program at 410‐313‐1771 with questions.

Well Mapping Project

In the summer of 2006 a project was initiated to inventory and locate all of the private drinking water wells in Howard County. For more information about this project, click here

Information/Fact Sheets (PDF Format) 

Bay Restoration Funds: 
Bay Restoration Fund Questionnaire
Bay Restoration Website
BRF Implementation Guidance

Homebuilders Committee:

Well Site Plan Requirements
Groundwater Appropriations Permit FAQ Required Plan Notations
BAT Site Plan Requirements
Bat Regulation Guidance

MDE Onsite Systems Division
COMAR 26.04.02-26.04.05

Building Permit Site Plan Requirements

On-site Sewage Disposal Systems:
Building Permit Application and Process
Percolation Test and Plan Requirements for Developed Lots
Howard County Code - Well and Septic Regulations
Well and Septic Setback Requirements
Geothermal Well Setbacks Residential Septic Design
Septic System Facts

Private Drinking Water Wells:
Drinking Water Postcard
Radionuclides & Your Well Water: A Homeowner’s Guide
Drinking Water from Household Wells (EPA Publication)
Well Water Safety Facts
Disinfecting Your Well Water Supply


Forms and Applications 

For more information, call 410-313-1771 or toll free at 1-866-313-6300 (voice/relay) or send an e-mail to askhealth@howardcountymd.gov