Well and Septic Applications for Property Improvements

What types of property improvements are addressed under this procedure?

This procedure addresses property improvements including decks, sheds, garages, porches and additions or alterations to the living space of an existing residential dwelling or accessory structure that is served by a private well water supply or an on-site septic system.

What items are needed to apply?

You may apply online through the Land Use Navigator tool, or submit a completed Building Permit Application form and appropriate fees to:

Permit Center      
2664 Riva Road      
Annapolis, Maryland 21401      
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Include information on the Building Permit Application form concerning the use of the proposed construction, the square footage of the existing dwelling and proposed construction, and the number of existing and proposed bedrooms.

Submit a Site Plan

Submit a scaled site plan drawing showing existing septic system size and location, well location and tag number, property lines, building restriction lines, proposed construction, neighboring wells, well tag numbers, septic systems within 100 feet, and existing property improvements such as swimming pools, sheds, garages, decks, driveways, patios and porches.

For further information or site plan assistance, contact the Department of Health representative at the Permit Center weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and noon, or phone 410-222-7727.

What requirements must I meet for approval of my building permit?

Property improvements such as swimming pools, sheds, garages, decks, patios and porches require a County building permit and these types of building permits are approvable provided that the minimum setback requirements can be met. For more information on the setback requirements see Distance Requirement Chart. For property improvements where an increase in the habitable area or living space of an existing dwelling occurs, the existing septic system must be evaluated for its adequacy in handling the existing and proposed increase in flow.

The Department of Health evaluates the adequacy of existing on-site sewage disposal systems based on the requirements of the Anne Arundel County Private Sewage Disposal Code. The septic system must be adequately sized to handle the existing and proposed increase in living space of the dwelling. In addition, adequate area must exist for two future replacement systems on the property. The proposed building addition must meet the minimum setback requirements of the Sewage Disposal Code. Modifications to the existing on-site sewage disposal system may be required for building permit approval. The modifications to the existing septic system must be completed before the Department of Health will sign off on the building permit application.

What additional information may be needed by the Department of Health for permit approval?

Based upon available data, the Department of Health may require the following items for permit approval:

  • perc testing
  • wet season perc testing
  • excavation of septic system components
  • replacement of the septic tank
  • installation of a new drainfield, drywell or mound system

For sites requiring perc testing, the applicant must complete a Perc Application and submit a $450.00 application fee to the Permit Center or Anne Arundel County Government Office Building (see addresses above). Properties located in wet season restricted areas must be tested during wet season, which normally occurs from February 1 through April 30.

It is not necessary that the applicant/property owner be home at the time of a site evaluation. However, if perc testing is required, supervision by a Department of Health representative is necessary. To schedule a perc test appointment with a representative, call the Department of Health at 410-222-7193, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

What options are available if my property does not meet the requirements for a conventional septic system?

In this event, a one-time limited home addition may be possible. If the Department of Health determines that the existing septic system is functioning properly, a limited home addition may be possible if an advanced pretreatment unit is added to the existing septic system. The limited home addition allows up to a 50% increase in the living space of an existing dwelling. The increase in living space is limited to a 1,000 square foot addition with no increase in the number of bedrooms. More information on the requirements for the approval of a limited home addition can be found in the Anne Arundel County Water and Sewer Master Plan.

For a list of approved advanced pretreatment units, call the Department of Health at 410-222-7219.

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