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Perry Hall Manor Sewer Extension Project

Update As of June 8, 2022 Corrected Connection Response Forms Due July 8, 2022

Connection Response Forms and Revised Estimated Notices of Assessment have been mailed. Due to a clerical error on the Connection Response Form referencing a water project, a revised Connection Response Form will be mailed by June 10, 2022. The new due date to return your Connection Response Form is July 8, 2022. We apologize for the confusion.

Community Information Meetings

June 2022:

A community meeting was held on June 1, 2022 at the American Legion Post 130. Follow-up information related to the meeting, including answers to your questions will be posted soon. View the full presentation (PDF). View the question and answer document (PDF).

September 2021:

Separate public meetings were offered to each of the following groups affected by the project, though residents were able to attend either or both:

  • Residents with non-failing or marginal septic systems who were offered the option to connect to public sewer. Watch the meeting recording.
  • Residents who have failing or marginal systems who are required to connect to public sewer. Watch the meeting recording.
  • View the full presentation (PDF). The presentations at these meetings were almost identical, however the version presented to the optional connection audience discussed the disadvantages of not connecting during the project (page 26 of the presentation).

Background

The 2018 septic system assessment conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) found nearly 20 percent of the homes in Perry Hall Manor to be in immediate need of a septic system repair. View a map of the surveyed area (PDF). The recommendation by EPS to extend the sewer was based on a variety of factors, including the:

  • Age of existing septic systems
  • Close proximity to private drinking water supplies
  • Known septic system problems
  • Lack of area to repair septic systems
  • High cost and anticipated complications with future septic system repairs and replacements
  • Soil conditions

Project Timeline

The project is being carried out under the authority provided in accordance with sections 20-2-101, 20-2-102 and 20-2-105 of the Baltimore County Code. Design and construction is expected to take around five years.

About the Sanitary Survey

Read more about the process below:

  1. Data Review—EPS reviewed all available data in their files regarding existing well and septic info, perc tests, soil maps and water quality.

  2. Door-to-Door Visits to Properties—EPS went door-to door, attempted to meet with every property owner to locate each well and septic system using GPS units. Notes were left at each door of those that were not home, requesting that they contact the Metropolitan District Financing and Petitions Office to discuss any issues or concerns about their wells or septic systems.

  3. Physical Inspections—EPS conducted basic, physical inspections of each septic system that was accessible. Inspections focused primarily on sewage levels and hydraulic capacity.

    1. Failing or marginal systems are unlikely to pass a thorough inspection for a property transfer. These systems were identified as:

      1. Systems observed to be hydraulically loaded (at capacity)

      2. Systems that reported problems with frequent back-ups

      3. Systems where there was sewage effluent on the surface

    2. Water wasn’t identified as having any significant issues and EPS was not aware of water yield or quality issues beyond approximately five properties. Public water was not added as part of this project. The extension of public sewer eliminates the discharge into the ground and causes less constraint on each property because water supplies would not be restricted by the limitations of a septic system.

Engineering and Design

The field survey has not yet been completed and the final placement of sanitary house connections is yet to be determined. The location of house connections, ancillary structures, and the sewer main tie-in point to the existing sanitary sewer system will be established when developing the hydraulic design of the sewer mains. Our preliminary approach is to provide for the proposed sewer mains to be installed along existing rights-of-ways (roads) allowing service for all properties along its path. We currently have no individual property acquisition/easements under consideration for the proposed sewer mains. The final point of connection will be determined during design.

If a property owner indicates on their response form that they want to connect to the system, the County will factor that property into the design of the system. Please note that if the lowest bid received is 20 percent or more than the estimated costs, the contract will be rebid. The County is committed to keeping the community informed of the progress throughout this process.

Connection

In accordance with County Code and departmental policy, you must connect your property to the public sewer system and abandon the septic system. Connection to the sewer system must be within one year of the Notice of Completion and release of the system, the only exception being if you have received a violation notice from EPS that your sewage disposal system is failing, in which case, connection must be made within 30 days.

The licensed plumber hired by the property owner to make the sewer connection will be responsible for pumping the septic system (and drywells if present) and backfilling with clean fill or stone as part of the permit requirements.

For Those Who Choose Not to Connect

If your septic system fails and a public sewer is available to the property, a connection to public sewer will be required. EPS will not issue a permit to repair a failed septic system if public sewer is determined to be available. Property owners who choose not to connect to will not be able to finance their connection charges through the county if they decide to connect later. When a property owner’s septic system fails, they will be responsible for hiring a utility contractor and paying the full amount. This alone could cost $15,000 or more. Improvement permits may not be allowed without a connection to the system. If you want to add a pool or an addition, you will may be required to connect to the system.

Costs and Charges

Plumbing Permit Charges

The cost of plumbing permit consists of several charges:

  • System connection charge: ($875)—Included in the construction loan charges
  • Sewer house connection: $30
  • Connection for all existing sewer fixtures: $30
  • Sewer service prorated charge—This is a variable fee that depends on the month the permit is applied for and how many plumbing fixtures are in the home.
  • Plumber’s bill—Owners of residential properties may finance their plumber’s bill for 40 years at the same interest rate as the true interest cost in the County’s most recent issuance of Metropolitan District Bonds at the Final Notice of Special Assessment up to five percent. Financing your plumber’s bill will result in an increase in the construction loan charge on the tax bill. 

Assessment and Annual Rates

Each property’s charges are determined by their average front foot assessment. This means that each property owner will pay towards the sewer benefit and deficit charges, depending on their assessment. Plumber’s bills may vary as well.

Sewer Benefit Assessment is a special assessment levied to recover construction costs for sewer mains. Normally amortized over 40 years at 6.42 percent interest, this charge may be paid off in full at any time. All properties are assessed, improved and unimproved. Assessable footage is normally the average width of a property, however, some properties may also be assessed for a side or parallel street frontage abutting a sewer main. The annual charge for residential property having assessable footage greater than 200 feet is computed using a “small acreage breakdown” providing that there is only one structure on the property to be connected to the sewer. Below are the per-foot rates used to compute the benefit assessments and annual benefit charges.

View a sample notice of assessment (PDF).

 Assessment RatesAnnual Rates
Residential$28.57$2
Business$44.29$3.10
Small Acreage First 200 Feet: $2
Second 200 Feet: $1.35
Over 400 Feet: $0.65

About Your Property Tax Bill

If homeowners plan to sell before or during the project, costs and decisions transfer with the home through the tax bill, from the County to the property owner.

The annual sewer benefit and construction loan charges will be added to the property tax bill you receive in July following the Notice of Completion.

Benefit assessments and construction loan charges are liens on the property, however, the County treats them as assumable liens. The County does not require that these charges be paid off to sell or transfer the property to a new owner, except in certain situations involving property subdivisions and commercial properties.

All property owners, regardless of whether they choose to connect, must pay the charges in Lines 1 and 2a. These charges help cover the cost of extending the option of public sewer service to the property—a benefit that provides a critical public service to the community and that can increase the value of your property.

Payment and Financing

The funding options are the same for those who are required to connect and those that opted to connect. Highest priority is given to those with failing septic systems, however any qualifying property owner can apply. There are several options for paying for the sewer connection.

  • County Financing—The County allows financing of the construction loan charges for 40 years at as the true interest cost in the County’s most recent issuance of Metropolitan District Bonds at the Final Notice of Special Assessment up to five percent on the tax bill. For your reference, the most recent metropolitan bond issue was approximately 2.51 percent. This is an assumable lien and can be transferred if the property is sold. The construction loan may be paid off in full at any time.

The table below illustrates how the $5 million in preauthorized State funding and how Council Bill No 88-21 may affect property owner construction charges at different interest rates. The examples below use a 100-foot front-foot assessment and assumes that every affected property owner will connect to the sewer extension. Your actual construction charges may differ based on the length of your assessable footage, the interest rate applied at the time of Final Notice of Special Assessment and the number of people who chose to connect to the sewer connection.

Interest Rate (Percentage)Total Estimated Construction ChargeAnnual Construction Charge
2.5%$2,189$87
3.5%$2,189$102
4.5%$2,189$119
5% (statutory maximum)$2,189$128
  • Deferred Payments—The Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) offers the Metropolitan Benefit and Construction Loan Deferral. Homeowners must be at least 60 years of age and eligible for the Homeowners Tax Credit. Annual charges that are deferred accrue interest until paid off. Payment of deferred charges and accrued interest will be required to record a new deed of the new property owner.

  • Disabled Taxpayer—You may qualify as a disabled taxpayer if you or your spouse have been determined to be permanently and totally disabled as a result of finding by the Social Security Act, the Railroad Retirement Act or by the County Health Officer. To learn more, call Taxpayer Services at 410-887-4100.

  • Grant Funding—EPS administers the BRF Grant Program where property owners can apply to receive up to $20,000 toward the cost of connecting to public sewer. Each property owner must submit to EPS an application along with verification of income to determine eligibility. Provided funding is available, grants are awarded to eligible applicants based on the low bid amount from at least three qualified contractors. Bids must include the cost of obtaining a permit, installing a sewer connection from the house to the clean-out at the county right of way and properly abandoning the septic system.

  • Linked Deposit Program—MDE Water Quality Financing Administration facilitates the Linked Deposit program where participating private lenders offer below-market financing to projects that will reduce nutrient loading to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

  • Pay in Full—Property owners may pay all charges off once the Notice of Completion is received and at any time during the 40 years.

  • Private Financing—Taxpayers may choose to get a private loan to pay the charges.

Learn more about Countywide tax credits and tax relief programs.

More Information

For more information, email metrofinance@baltimorecountymd.gov or call Ellyn Avila at 410-887-2423.

 
Revised June 14, 2022         

 

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