Learn About a Bunch of Crap, Rather Septic Systems, at Expo
The Anne Arundel County Department of Health will host a free Septic System Expo for homeowners on Saturday (Sept. 15) at Anne Arundel Community College Student Union Dining Hall in Arnold. A 2009 Maryland law requires that eventually, every homeowner in the Critical Area will upgrade their system to meet new environmental rules.
According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, homeowners in the state whose property is in Critical Area (wholly or partially), must use the Best Available Technology (BAT) for removing Nitrogen when newly constructing a home or upgrading and/or replacing an existing system. Making minor repairs or pump outs do not require the upgrade.
The Critical Aea includes land within 1,000 feet of the mean high water line of tidal waters or wetlands. In South County, the new rules apply to hundreds of homes. Maps of the Critical Area can be found on the MyAnneArundel website. (Note that special plugin software is required to view the map).
Studies have found that up to 80 percent of nitrogen that leaves a septic system in the Critical Area reaches surface water. Nitrogen is essential for life, but too much can cause algae blooms that deplete oxygen. Without oxygen, fish and shellfish die.
So sending out nitrogen from an old septic system is bad. But, humans have the power to make it better.
What the septic industry has designed is a way to keep the nitrogen from seeping out. The state requires the Best Available Technology for Nitrogen Removal (BAT), which can be forever evolving. A list of BAT systems can be found here.
And what the state has done to make it easier on homeowners is to cover the difference in cost between a traditional system and the system that includes BAT. Grants for up to 100 percent of the BAT cost are availble, with first priority given to failing systems and holding tanks in the Critical Area. Additional financial assistance is available from the Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program and MDE’s Linked Deposit Program.
Septic System Expo
At the Expo at AACC, homeowners can learn about the BAT units and the grants and financial assistance that is available. In addition, the Health Department will also have free copies of septic installation records for their properties.
If the septic system is replaced before December 31, 2012, the BAT systems can receive 100 percent assistance for repair of failing systems in the Critical Area. After January 1, 2013, grants will be awarded on a sliding scale based on a homeowner’s taxable income.
So get out there and see what is going on in the world of septic systems and free money for replacements!
If you want more information, call the Health Department at 410-222-7193.