Anne Arundel County Launches Our wAAter Program

Converting Private Septic Systems To Public Sewer Helps Control Pollution And Improve Water Quality

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Anne Arundel County invites residents living in neighborhoods near the Chesapeake Bay to learn more about connecting to the county's public sewer system by applying for the new Our wAAter program. This program, led by the Department of Public Works, will help reduce the costs of converting from private septic tanks to the county sewer system.

“Converting from private septic tanks to the county sewer system will help our residents experience improved water quality, while allowing us to better control pollutants impacting the bay,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “Residents with private septic systems should take this innovative opportunity to lower their cost of connecting to the county system - it helps you improve your water, and helps the county protect our environment.”

Our wAAter is the Anne Arundel clean water program, established to provide long-term benefits to protect local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay while sustaining groundwater supplies and enhancing water resiliency. The program strategy integrates five initiatives: wastewater treatment enhancements, septic-to-sewer connections, groundwater resiliency, stormwater improvements, and small system upgrades.

“In densely located subdivisions near the water, even well-maintained septic systems can release harmful pollutants into the bay,” said Chris Phipps, DPW director. “The septic-to-sewer connection program will improve water quality and public health by converting up to 6,000 private septic systems to public sewer connections over the next 30 years, or approximately 200 per year.”

How do septic systems impact public health and water quality?

  • More than 40,000 properties in Anne Arundel County use on-site septic systems to treat residential wastewater, which can significantly pollute water under certain conditions.

  • In dense subdivisions located close to the water, even properly operating septic systems can release up to eight times more pollutants into the bay than the county’s water reclamation facilities.

  • When systems do not operate properly or are too close to private drinking water wells, contaminants from the wastewater may even reach drinking water.

Residents can determine eligibility for the Our wAAter program by visiting the septic-to-sewer connection page on www.ourwaater.com and entering their address into the search bar.

Help protect the community and preserve and restore the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. To learn more about eligible neighborhoods, please visit www.ourwaater.com, email the team at info@ourwaater.org or call 410-222-7500 for more information.

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