Sewage Disposal Remains Problem In Carroll, Says County Health Department

September 25, 1969

The Carroll County Health Department reports that approximately 95 percent of new local residential and commercial construction is still- served by underground disposal (septic) systems.

This situation is necessitated by the lack of adequate public sewage collection and treatment facilities. Only four incorporated towns in the county operate such facilities at present, while two additional towns– Sykesville and Hampstead- are in the late planning stages for the construction of public sewage systems. Sewer lines and treatment plants in the latter towns will be constructed under thee auspices of the Carroll County Sanitary Commission. The town of Manchester is now constructing it’s own sewage facility.

Incorporation of towns here has presented some problems that might not be found in other counties. The municipality can resist the extension of sewer lines beyond corporate limits, thereby denying relief to county residents in adjacent areas who have failing septic systems. In other cases, notably Westminster, extension of sewer lines would overload present treatment facilities. A new plant is therefore planned to accommodate industrial and residential growth.

The new and expanded public systems outlined above, as well as others in the discussion and early planning stages, will eventually eliminate the need for private septic systems for many county residents. In the foreseeable future, however, a majority of Carroll countians and many of our industries will be dependent on underground sewage disposal.

In order to minimize the transmission of diseases such as dysentery, typhoid and infectious hepatitis, and to prevent pollution of soil and water, the health department regulates the disposal of sewage by septic systems. Prior to the issuance of a permit, a percolation test must be conducted at the proposed disposal site. This test indicates the rate at which the soil can absorb the liquid that is discharged from the septic tank.

In some instances the soil is non-porous and a permit cannot be issued. All lots which do not have a percolation test  on file should be bought  contingent upon obtaining a satisfactory test. If this is not done the purchaser may have invested thousands of dollars for a building site on which construction is prohibited.

Before installation of a septic system, a representative of the health department visits the proposed site. This inspection insures that adequate distances and elevations are maintained between the well and septic system. After installation the system is inspected to determine if size and location comply with regulations.

There are two parts to an underground disposal system- the septic tank and the effluent disposal area. The tank is designed to accommodate the sewage that flows from a house or business in twenty four hours. The heavier solids settle to the bottom as “sludge”; in the center in a liquid layer containing dissolved and (cont. on pg. 10)

— It does not seem to be on Page 10—

Leave a Comment

Previous post: