Sewage Water Pollution
Sewage and Water Pollution
1. Is there a county code pertaining to sewage disposal?
Yes, please see Sec. 22-131. - Sewage Disposal Nuisance; condemnation; use (a) Any method of sewage disposal, by which the sewage is accessible to humans, flies, animals, surface drainage, or is endangering a water supply or which is detrimental to health in any way, shall constitute a sewage disposal nuisance. The Health Officer shall condemn all sewage disposal nuisances, and any sewage disposal method condemned shall not be reapproved unless the nuisance is abated. (b) No person shall occupy for dwelling or business purpose any dwelling, apartment house, store, or other building where the sewage disposal system has been condemned or the method of sewage disposal is detrimental to health.
2. What If I see someone dumping pollutants into the drainage systems?
(1) If you see someone dumping pollutants into the drainage systems or stream, (2) if you see any discoloration in the water stream, or (3) if you see any unusual fluids flowing from a property, please click HERE to submit a service request by selecting “Sewage/Water Pollution.” If the pollution problem is an emergency, please call 911.
3. What is polluted stormwater run-off?
When storm water flows over surfaces, it picks up pollutants such as oil, sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, litter, yard waste, pet waste, etc., which then pollutes those surfaces.
4. What causes storm water pollution?
Stormwater pollution can be caused by everyday activities we do around our homes and businesses. Some examples of pollution include: over-fertilizing the yard, fertilizing before a heavy rain, not pick up pet waste and excessive use of pesticides. Leaking oil from vehicles, litter, yard debris and sediment are also examples of common storm water pollutants.
5. How can I prevent storm water pollution?
Some ways to prevent storm water pollution is to make sure you dispose of chemicals properly, never dump items in storm drains, pick up after your pets, ensure yard waste is not left loose on the street and eliminate/minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
6. How do I report sewage overflow or repair my malfunctioning septic system?
If your property or the sewage source is serviced by public sewer, please contact WSSC at 301-206-4003.
If your property or sewage source is serviced by a private septic system, please click HERE to submit a service request by selecting “Sewage/Water Pollution.”
7. What types of services does the county provide regarding my well or septic system?
Prince George's County Health Department provides several services to residents as part of the Environmental Engineering Program, including:
- Percolation tests to determine the suitability of soils for individual sewage disposal systems (See our Percolation Test Application (PDF).
- Review of septic system plans and issue Septic System Permits for the replacement of failing septic systems, and permitting of conventional septic systems for new construction.)
- Site evaluations for replacement wells
- Well Permits
- Inspection of well and septic system construction in existing homes
- Disbursement of funds from the State's Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund for the installation of Best Available Technology (BAT) nitrogen-reducing septic tanks or connection to the public sewer. (Download the Bay Restoration Fund (PDF) application form.)
- Oversight for backfilling of abandoned wells
- Review and approval of subdivision plats to be served by individual wells and/or septic systems
- Site evaluations for the potential installation of Innovative and Alternative (I&A) Septic Systems where conventional septic systems will not work
- Routine monitoring of I&A systems
- Inspection and licensing of septage haulers to operate within the county
- Evaluation of septic systems and wells for the operation of new foster care homes, adult and child care facilities, camps, schools and other institutional facilities
- Sanitary water and sewer surveys in problem areas in conjunction with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)
- Investigate complaints regarding sewage disposal problems, public sewer overflows (in conjunction with WSSC), well water not meeting standards, pollution of County streams and waterways and improper disposal of oil, household waste, industrial waste, hazardous waste and special medical wastes, etc.
- The Health Department works with Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) on different levels to reduce the amount of fats, oils and grease getting into its sewer system.
8. How do I apply for a percolation test?
For license and permit applications, visit the Prince George's County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) Health Forms page
The Health Department will notify you, by letter, when percolation tests can be performed on your lot. Tests for certain types of soils, can only be conducted during the "wet season" of the year, February 1 through April 30 (These dates may be subject to change based on the amount of rainfall). If your lot does not meet the minimum requirements for testing, you will be informed of the reason.
9. Can I conduct the percolation test on my property?
Yes. If you plan to perform the tests yourself, contact the Environmental Health Specialist indicated on the notification letter to arrange an appointment to conduct the tests.
If you hire a licensed percolation tester to conduct the tests, have them arrange for an appointment with the Health Department. All tests must be witnessed by a representative of the Health Department. The Health Department will notify you, by letter, when percolation tests can be performed on your lot. Tests for certain types of soils can only be conducted during the "wet season" of the year, February 1 through April 30 (These dates may be subject to change based on the amount of rainfall). If your lot does not meet the minimum requirements for testing, you will be informed of the reason.
10. How do I obtain information on the well or septic system on my property?
Send an email requesting information to EnvironEngProgram@co.pg.md.us