ANS comments on Montgomery County’s proposed Concept Sewer Service Policy for RE-1 Zoned Areas with Septic Systems older than 1975

The Montgomery County Council proposed that the County Water and Sewer Plan have a policy that extends sewer service to rural RE-1 zoned areas with septic systems older than 1975, which are presently outside of the adopted sewer envelope. 

While ANS appreciates that the Concept Policy includes an attempt to address limiting future development, we do not support extending the sewer envelope to RE-1 zoned properties for the following reasons:

  • the water quality benefits from such a decision are currently unknown and unquantified,
  • extending sewer will inevitably lead to greater development pressure for increased density in these still-rural areas, and
  • proven alternatives exist in the form of Best Available Technology septic upgrades that will solve the stated public purpose of the proposed concept policy, “water resource (groundwater and surface water) protection.”

Click here to see a map of where the pre-1975 septic systems in RE-1 zones are located.
Click here to read our March 28, 2017 letter in full.

Update: In a June 5, 2017 email to ANS, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)  stated that “we will not be recommending the concept policy for inclusion into the Water and Sewerage Systems Plan. Our evaluation of the concept policy along with the input we requested (from citizens/groups such as you/yours), indicated that the existing policy calling for a sanitary survey was the more reasonable approach to evaluating properties for possible future sewer extensions.”

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