Government and Politics

Maryland Governor Offers Financial Assistance for Those Who Upgrade Septic Systems


Woman standing in a backyard next to a puddle of sewage, pinching her nose, EPS 8 vector illustrationIn Baltimore, Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan is proposing to offer financial assistance to anyone willing to upgrade their current septic system in their home. They have developed a new technology that reduces the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other pollutants that can seep through the ground into waterways. This means that the sewage that gets pumped into a homeowner’s yard will have a smaller negative impact on the waterways that the sewage may come in contact with.

The Governor is really pushing for this upgrade from Baltimore residents. His plan is to reward to homeowners who decide to upgrade their current systems to the newer, more environmentally friendly system. According to the Baltimore Sun, “those residents who upgraded would no longer have to pay a $60 annual fee that funds bay cleanup efforts, including wastewater treatment plant and septic upgrades and planting of cover crops.”

Septic systems are a critical part of our homes as they assist with the disposal of sewage. About one quarter of homes across America have to have a septic system. They allow the sewage to decompose naturally, but they can be costly.

Septic tanks need to be taken care of to ensure proper function. This means that they need to be pumped, or emptied, on a regular basis, they need to be serviced or repair when they are not working, and they eventually will need to be replaced. Septic systems are expected to last about 40 years. Sometimes, however, new technology renders a system useless and warrants replacement.

The technology Gov. Hogan is pushing is a key element in reducing pollution in Chesapeake Bay. According to local officials, that pollution is a direct result of septic systems in the area. Representatives for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation have criticized the proposal made by the Governor because they said even the most high-tech septic systems are responsible for more pollution than upgraded wastewater treatment plants.

The plan has received both support and backlash from the community of Baltimore, MD.

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