Public Water & Sewer Service


The density of development where most Montgomery County citizens live and work makes it impractical for each property to have its own, private water supply and wastewater disposal systems. Instead, centralized water and sewerage systems, owned and operated by public utilities or municipalities, provide these services throughout much of the County.  A plan to coordinate and maintain these services is an essential part of the County's responsibilities to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.

Where the county relies on the use of public systems, the water that flows from the faucets in your home or business is piped in from a water filtration plant—probably some distance away—by the local water/wastewater utility. The wastewater resulting from flushing the toilet, running a washing machine or dishwasher, or letting water flow through a sink or bathtub is piped out of your home or business to a wastewater treatment plant—again, probably some distance away—by the local utility. The utility owns and operates the water supply and wastewater disposal system facilities (or infrastructure), and you pay the utility to provide the service.

This arrangement is referred to as "public" water and sewer service. Some people also refer to it as "city water and sewer"; Maryland classifies it under state law as "community water and sewer service." 


Graphic of a neighborhood with public water source.



The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) provides the majority of public water and sewer service available in Montgomery County.  If you have a billing question or other inquiry related to existing service, please contact WSSC directly:


Is Public Service Available Everywhere in the County?

Residents and businesses in Montgomery County use a combination of public water and sewer service and  private, on-site service (wells and septic systems), depending on their location. Public water and sewer service in Montgomery County is generally available where higher density development patterns exist or are planned—in the down-county region straddling the I-495 Beltway and along the major transportation corridors in the up-county. These areas include:

  • The I-270 and Maryland Rte. 27 (Ridge Road.) corridor running out from Rockville through Germantown, Clarksburg, and Damascus.

  • The Maryland Rte. 97 (Georgia Avenue) corridor running out from Wheaton through Aspen Hill, Olney, and Brookeville.

  • The U.S. Highway 29 (Columbia Pike) corridor running out from Silver Spring through Fairland and Burtonsville.

In the lower-density suburban and rural areas of the County, where public service is usually not available, private, onsite systems ( wells and septic systems) provide water supply and wastewater disposal service.



Public Service Map

Properties designated as service area categories 1 and 3 are eligible to receive public water and/or sewer service. Read the full  description of property water and sewer categories to determine your property's eligibility for service.