Well & Septic Management Program

Well and Septic Postcard

Onsite Well & Septic Systems Management Program

Other than the designation of areas intended for service using individual onsite systems and addressing public health cases, recent versions of the Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan have had little to say about rural water supply and wastewater treatment planning. The recent 2018 update of the Plan took initial steps towards addressing that oversight by recommending the development of a County onsite systems management program. The program is intended to promote long-term sustainability of onsite systems by focusing on a more proactive approach for onsite systems users, addressing the operation, maintenance, and testing of wells and septic systems.

An increasing number of county and municipal jurisdictions throughout the country have instituted such programs, some required by state laws.  At the request of the County Council, the County’s Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) researched the use of onsite systems management programs throughout the country.  OLO’s investigation has resulted in a report to the Council titled, "Life-Cycle Regulation for On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems" (OLO Memorandum Report 2017-5) and referenced in the 2018 update of the Plan. The requirements and responsibilities for these programs vary greatly between jurisdictions. The OLO report presents background about individual onsite systems; addresses five management models developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; presents four case studies on management systems from Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia; and provides OLO staff observations based on the information gathered.