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Executive Kittleman files legislation to offer rebates for residents who pump out septic systems

December 20, 2016

Media Contacts:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
James Caldwell, Administrator, Office of Community Sustainability, 410-313-6551

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman will file legislation with the County Council to offer $100 rebates to homeowners to incentivize regular pumping of septic systems. The incentive is another strategy to improve stormwater quality and will provide some relief to taxpayers who pay the County's stormwater fee.

To qualify for the credit under the County’s new Septic Savers program, homeowners would be required to submit an invoice showing the completed work and use a hauler that maintains a current septic scavenger permit. Residents would be able to apply for the incentive every three to five years as pumping is needed.

“Performing regular maintenance on septic systems is vital to the environment,” said Kittleman. “Giving residents an incentive to get the work done is not only a win for them, but also furthers our mission to be good stewards of our County.”

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) recognizes septic tank pumping as an alternative approach to meeting the state’s mandate to treat 20 percent of its impervious surfaces by 2019. The County’s Office of Community Sustainability has determined septic tank pumping is a cost-effective approach to meeting that mandate.

Kittleman said if all septic users in the County took part in the Septic Savers program, the County could obtain about 570 acres of impervious treatment credit, or about 30 percent of its 2019 permit treatment goal.

The $100 credit represents about 40 percent of the average cost to pump a septic system in Howard County. A maximum of 1,000 homeowners may participate in the program during the first year.

In addition to the credit, the Septic Savers program will offer educational programs through a partnership with the University of Maryland’s Septic Clinic Program. The Howard County Health Department will either provide homeowners with a FAQ sheet of septic regulations or will have a staff person attend septic clinics.