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Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident Updates

Sewer Design is responsible for the design and the review of improvement projects for the Baltimore County metropolitan wastewater system. This section also:

  • Designs and reviews collection systems for residential and commercial areas
  • Evaluates and assesses the system to ensure that capacity exists to handle discharges that protects the health and safety of the public
  • Designs and reviews pumping stations and major interceptors that carry wastewater to the two major treatment plants
  • Manages availability of capital funds for the rehabilitation, repair and replacement of sewer lines and the upgrade of pumping stations
  • Responsible for the design of sewer system improvements established in the Consent Decree

About Septic Systems

A modern septic system is composed of a large tank (usually 1,500 gallons) that accepts all wastewater from the house, in which solids settle to the bottom and the liquid or effluent flows from the tank to drain fields or dry wells (also called seepage pits) that are designed to allow the effluent to be absorbed into the soil. The soil acts as a natural filter that is capable of removing pathogenic bacteria and viruses from the wastewater as it percolates down to the groundwater system. We know from testing and experience that septic systems, properly sited and designed, do an excellent job of effectively and safely disposing of domestic wastes.


The County offers the following services for qualifying systems.

Extending Public Sewer via a Health Project

Unlike other utilities such as power and cable, sewer extensions are generally not economically feasible unless the cost is shared by all of the property owners. Therefore, if EPS recommends that public sewer be extended for health reasons and the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT) agrees to do so, all homeowners that have access (property frontage) to the new sewer line—even if their septic system is not failing at that time—are required to connect to the system when it becomes available. The legal authority for the County to extend public sewer for the protection of public health is specified in the Baltimore County Code 20-2-102.

Project Timeline

Generally speaking, it will take one to three years for the project to be completed. This could be longer based on the scope of the project, and the complexity of the environmental constraints and property acquisitions. Time to project completion is dependent on a variety of factors including the:

  • Availability of funds to pay for and finance the project
  • Cooperation of property owners with obtaining rights-of-way
  • Number of other competing sewer extension and improvement projects

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to continue to maintain a septic system in such a manner that it does not cause an immediate public health threat or nuisance throughout the duration of the project. This may involve having the septic system pumped at a frequency necessary to prevent the overflow of sewage to the ground surface.

About the Process

Contact Information

Learn who to contact regarding the following:

TopicContact Information
  • Questions about your septic system
  • Recommendations to extend public sewer
  • Grant qualification


Phone: 410-887-2762
Deferral InformationPhone: 410-887-4100
Developer JobsPhone: 410-887-3751
  • Project Financing
  • Sewer Availability
  • Public Sewer Petitions

Phone: 410-887-2423

Failing Systems

Financial AssistancePhone: 410-887-3124
Land Acquisition StatusPhone: 410-887-3280
Sewer Backups/Cleaning/Repairs


Sewer Project Status

Phone: 410-887-3762

Additional Resources

Learn more about the following topics.

Explore Engineering and Construction


Contact Us

Sewer Design

111 West Chesapeake Avenue
Room 200
Towson, Maryland 21204


Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.




Amy Bley, P.E.


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