Department of Health Announces Beginning of 2024 Wet Season Perc Testing

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health Environmental Health Bureau will start annual wet season site evaluations and percolation tests on January 29, 2024. Wet season testing is arranged on a first-come, first-serve basis. Appointments are being accepted and applicants are encouraged to submit wet season applications as early as possible so that each site may be properly evaluated for sewage disposal systems. Wet season applications for mound sewage disposal systems must be received by March 1, 2024, and tested by March 15, 2024. All other applications for testing must be received and scheduled by March 29, 2024, to guarantee testing.

The wet season test period is set for Anne Arundel County by using data from a network of monitoring wells to determine groundwater levels. Properties located in areas with certain soils and high-water tables require testing during this season of the year. The highest water table is usually experienced during February, March and April. If water levels fall quickly, wet season testing could end before the normal closing date of April 30.

Wet season testing helps avoid inaccurately assessing the ability of the septic system to work in all seasons of the year. Information provided by the site evaluation and perc testing is used to determine the size and type of septic system that can be installed on a specific lot. Factors such as slopes or adjacent wells can reduce the space available for a septic system. In addition, adequate land must be set aside for at least two future replacement systems. Depending on the results of the evaluation, this may mean reducing the size of the house and the size of the septic system to meet requirements. In some cases, because of adverse soil or groundwater conditions, a property may only be developed when public sewer is available.

What properties are addressed under these procedures?

These procedures address single lot development for properties where individual on-site sewage disposal systems are proposed. They also apply to new construction for existing lots of record, repair or replacement of existing septic system components and septic system upgrades required for building permit approval. State approved Best Available Technology (BAT) nitrogen-reducing units are required on all new septic system installations within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area.

Before filing the Perc Application for properties located within 1,000 feet of a waterway or within the Critical Area, contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Planning and Zoning at 410-222-7463. Please have your address or tax account number when you call. Placing a septic system or a well within the 100-foot buffer may require a County grading permit or variance.

What items are needed to apply?

1. Apply online, or submit a completed Perc Application to:
 The Anne Arundel County Department of Health
3 Harry S Truman Parkway
Annapolis MD 21401

Applications may be completed by the property owner or an agent of the property owner including the developer, builder, sewage disposal contractor or a prospective buyer. Provide information on the Perc Application including tax account number, property owner, applicant, property address, square footage of proposed house and previous perc testing information (when available). Fees are payable to Anne Arundel County as follows:

Properties in certain areas of the County may only be evaluated during the wet season. Wet season testing is scheduled on a first come, first served basis, and it typically occurs between February 1 and April 30. Application and testing deadlines vary from year to year. Call the Department of Health at 410-222-7193 for specific wet season testing dates, application deadlines and to find out whether your property is located in a wet season restricted area.

2. Submit a scaled site plan drawing showing property lines, building restriction lines, proposed house location, proposed house size, neighboring wells and septic systems within 100 feet of the property, Critical Area lines (where needed) and any proposed or existing improvements such as swimming pools, sheds, garages, decks, driveways, patios and porches.

3. For existing platted lots, submit a copy of a property survey, house location survey or record plat. If available, the record plat may be obtained from the Anne Arundel County Courthouse, Document Control Section, First Floor, 7 Church Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401, 410-222-1394.

How do I schedule the perc test with the Department of Health?

Have your disposal system contractor or backhoe operator schedule an appointment with the area sanitarian at a telephone number listed below:

Perc Testing Areas

What other requirements apply?

Property corners and proposed house location must be identified with labeled stakes prior to conducting the perc testing. Side property line markers may be required for large parcels.

Perc tests must be performed in the proposed sewage disposal area and in adequate numbers to represent areas for an initial and two replacement septic systems. In general, a minimum of three satisfactory perc tests are required to establish a sewage disposal area. Additional perc tests may be required at the discretion of the Department of Health based on soil consistency, topography, landscape position and overall size of the proposed septic system.

Perc testing results will be mailed to the property owner and applicant following site evaluation and testing. Department representatives will not release results in the field at the completion of testing.

For More Information, Contact: 
Sanitary Engineering Program 
Bureau of Environmental Health 
Anne Arundel County Department of Health 
3 Harry S. Truman Parkway 
Annapolis, Maryland 21401