Yanche wrote:Septic systems and it's effects on the ground water are a big deal. Here in Maryland there is talk in the current session of the state legislature of outlawing all new private septic systems. Doing so would be a killer for the rural housing industry that depend on septic systems. I don't have information to know if it's a real problem or not. Sure failed septic systems are a serious issue but as an engineer I have a difficult time understanding why a harmless residential private septic system is not possible. I may not like the cost, but I would expect it could be designed. Does anyone have creditable studies that shows how effluent flows through septic systems and into the ground water? Surely someone has put tracer elements in liquids and watched it's flow into the water table.
As I understand the proposal here in MD, it is to eliminate private septic for developments of 5 or more lots forcing them to have centralized processing for those houses. There are small scale shared septic systems, I don't know if they would meet the requirements they came up with for this proposal.
I can see the loophole already....the developer will have a development of 4 houses and sell off the remaining lot to an individual that is not part of the "development". Or they will have multiple 4 house developments. I have no doubt this proposal will not impact Bay water quality, but will increase fees and creative development to avoid it. I am already paying a flush tax from our previous Republican Gov to use my private septic system.
Remember the fiasco at Centerville on the Eastern Shore a few years ago? They had rampant housing development that was fed into the WWTP because they didn't want septic systems. But the WWTP wasn't sized for it. They would routinely be pumping raw sewage into the tributary to the Bay in addition to the rainfall events. Not too surprising the planning council had a couple developers on it approving everything!
Studies I have seen and heard discussed at various meetings indicate the worst pollutant to the Bay is farm runoff from the PA/NY Susquehanna River Watershed and Eastern Shore poultry farms. I think the EPA is still trying to figure out how to classify the Eastern Shore farms so they can classify and control any runoff as hazardous waste.