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Environmental Protection and Sustainability
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Groundwater Management Educational Resources

Educational Booklets, Fact Sheets and Studies

Booklets

  • Building with Well and Septic (PDF)
    This booklet is intended for use by people planning to develop an existing lot to be served by private water well and sewage disposal systems.
  • Ground Water and Wells in Baltimore County (PDF)
    This booklet is intended to serve as a basic guide to the principals of hydrogeology as well as an overview of the regulations concerning well construction, yield testing, and water quality for Baltimore County.
  • Radionuclides and Your Well Water: A Homeowner's Guide (PDF)
    If you own and operate a domestic well in certain parts of Baltimore County, EPS recommends that you test your well for naturally occurring radiation. This booklet has been prepared to help answer your questions about testing and treating your domestic well water supply.
  • Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems: A Guide to Maintenance (PDF)
    This booklet is designed to provide homeowners with an understanding of how a septic system works and what steps can be taken to provide for maintenance of the system. 

Fact Sheets

  • Health Projects (PDF)
    This fact sheet provides an overview of how septic systems work, and how Baltimore County evaluates whether public sewerage should be extended for the protection of public health and the environment.
  • Chlorination Procedures (PDF)
    This fact sheet provides the basic steps to be used for well disinfection.
  • Perc Application Checklist (PDF)
    This fact sheet provides a detailed list of what information is required to process an application for a percolation test in Baltimore County.
  • Well Yield Fact Sheet (PDF)
    This fact sheet provides an explanation of some commonly asked questions about well yields.
  • Yield Testing Methods (PDF)
    This fact sheet provides the basic steps required to conduct a valid yield test in Baltimore County.
  • Wet Weather Testing (PDF)
    This fact sheet provides a list of soil types for which wet weather testing (February 1 to April 30) will be required before consideration for approval on a septic system in Baltimore County.

Ground Water Studies

Logistic Regression Analysis of Well Failures In Baltimore County by Xiaoyin Wang, Kevin W. Koepenick (PDF)
This reports presents a statistical evaluation of the Baltimore County well water database regarding the sustainability of domestic water supply wells in crystalline bedrock aquifers from 1990 to 2005.

Water and Sewer Service in Rural Baltimore County Maryland: Institute for Governmental Service, University of Maryland, Bilanin, J.E., and Tervala, V.K., 1999 (PDF)
This 1999 study looks at various options of how Baltimore County can resolve existing areas of problem septic systems, and better manage individual septic systems in the future.

The following reports are available for sale through the Maryland Geological Survey at 410-554-5500.

Ground-Water Occurrence in the Maryland Piedmont: Maryland Geological Survey Report No. 10, Nutter, L.J., and Otton, E.G., 1969.

This classic report investigates the major factors governing the occurrence of ground water in the crystalline rocks of Baltimore County. Statistical analyses of ground-water recharge, aquifer transmissivity, well yield, and geographic  distribution of wells on record is presented.

Ground-Water Quality in the Piedmont Region of Baltimore County, Maryland: Maryland Geological Survey Report of Investigations No. 66, Bolton, D.W., 1998.

In an effort to assess regional ground water quality in Baltimore County, this report evaluates water quality data from 106 domestic wells and 6 springs for a variety of analytes: major ions, nutrients, trace elements, radon, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds. Radiometric dating was also performed on a limited number of samples.

  • Basic findings of the study include: 
    • Overall drinking water was found to be of generally good quality.
    • Detections of elevated concentrations of nitrates and pesticides were generally correlated with areas of current or previous agricultural use.
    • Pesticides were found at trace levels, none of which exceeded any drinking water standards.
    • Areas of ground water contamination were isolated and generally affected by land use activities in the immediate vicinity of the well.

Ground-Water Quality in the Piedmont Region of Baltimore County, Maryland: Comparison of Data Collected in 2000-01 to Data Collected in 1994-96: Supplemental Report No. S2/RI66, Bolton, D.W., 2002.

As a follow-up to the 1998 ground water study, this report evaluates data collected from 46 domestic wells and three springs that were previously sampled. 

  • The key findings include:
    • Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), a gasoline additive, was found at increasing levels in several wells.
    • Overall health risk due to radium in ground water appeared to be low; however, one sample from a well in the Baltimore Gneiss Aquifer exceeded the US EPA drinking water standard.
    • Based on the elevated level of radium found in 1 well, EPS conducted follow-up testing for radionuclides in 73 wells in the Baltimore (and Setters) Gniess Aquifer. Results indicated that 15 percent of the wells had elevated levels of radionuclides. Consequently, EPS began requiring radiological testing for all new wells and recommended that existing wells be tested (see Radionuclides and Your Well Water: A Homeowners Guide).

The following reports are available for sale through EPS at 410-887-2762

Problem Areas for On-site Sewage Disposal Systems in Baltimore County: Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management, Koepenick, K.W. 1998

This report summarizes the 14 areas of known septic system problems in Baltimore County. This report was generated as a supporting document for the 1999 report entitled “Water and Sewer Service in Rural Baltimore County.”

Ground Water Management and Protection Strategy: Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management, Jollie, J.B., et al., 1992

This document, which was adopted into the Baltimore County Master Plan, provides guidance for the management and protection of Baltimore County’s ground water resources. The report outlines recommended policies and strategies to be incorporated into consideration for new development, and managing existing problems.

Revised July 5, 2013

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