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Regulations and Policies

The Ground Water Management Section (GWM) is generally responsible for enforcing the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.04. Specific County laws, regulations and policies related to these responsibilities include Section 1.03 of the Code of Baltimore County Regulations (COBAR) as well as the GWM policy manual.


The Ground Water Management Regulations (PDF) document contains COBAR Section 1.03. It pertains to on-site sewage disposal, domestic well water supplies, residential underground storage tanks and conservation burial grounds. Please note that these regulations will be used in conjunction with the applicable sections of the Annotated Code of Maryland, COMAR and COBAR that are not included in this document.

Storage Tank Removal

Removal of any underground fuel storage tank in Baltimore County must be performed by a certified storage tank removal contractor (PDF). For residential tanks, the contractor must apply for a building permit and schedule an inspection with the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) at least three days prior to removing the tank. The EPS inspector will evaluate the condition of the tank and determine if any remedial measures must be taken. If significant contamination has resulted from the tank, the case will be referred to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Policy Manual

The Ground Water Management Policy Manual (PDF) contains the policies of the GWM Section that was most recently adopted on March 14, 2016. These policies are used in conjunction with applicable state and County laws and regulations. Some of the appendices referred to in the policy manual are available on the Well and Septic Forms page.

Well and Septic Setback Requirements

Wells must be:

  • 10 feet from a property line
  • 15 feet from a road or dedicated right of way
  • 30 feet from any building foundation
  • 100 feet from sewage disposal areas, wells on adjacent lots or other sources of contamination.

The septic reserve area must be:

  • 10,000 square feet
  • Located at least 20 feet from any building foundation
  • 10 feet from property lines

Golf Course Environmental Guidelines

The Golf Course Environmental Guidelines (PDF) document contains the guidelines for the design and maintenance of golf courses in order to minimize their impact on the natural resources of the County.

Revised November 2, 2021         


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