The Council is still working on the details of the County's Ten Year Water and Sewer Plan. They are making sure that home owners with septic systems in rural residential areas have all the tools needed should they experience or clearly be at risk of septic failure. Important stuff.
Council will take this up again in June. Stay tuned...
The Montgomery County Council today voted 5-4 in favor of the Elrich Amendment to the Water and Sewer Plan.
Your own thank-you messages to councilmembers are helpful & welcomed. Thanks go to Councilmembers Hans Reimer Marc Elrich Roger Berliner Nancy Navarro and Tom Hucker.
Before the council voted on the Elrich Amendment regarding Septic System Surveys, they also arrived at a consensus on a new program for outreach and education to homeowners on septic, aimed at preventing failures through education on improved maintenance and technical assistance. The consensus was for the staff's recommended approach, which is to start now with simple web-based education on County websites, while compiling a database on the estimated 22,000 to 24,000 properties countywide that are on septic. Once that database is completed, the County staff & council will consider more-robust outreach and technical assistance. MCA has recommended that Councilmembers start now to advance homeowner education via their own councilmember newsletters (web and/or print). For our part, we are gathering outreach information that we will share and help homeowners and civic groups to get the word out about keeping wells and septics running safely.
Today's decisions are called "straw votes," with the final approval set for 2 weeks from now (Tuesday April 3), with that date being a pro-forma "Consent Calendar approval." Still, it will be very helpful for us to now publicly and loudly thank each of the 5 who voted for clean streams & to stop sewer sprawl.
Read on for our previous action alert
(*affiliated with the Montgomery County Stormwater Partners Network)
IMPORTANT: If you are an organization, please forward this Action Alert and attachments to your members. If you are an individual, please forward to friends, family, etc.
We request that you show your support for clean water in Montgomery County through our Stop Sewer Sprawl effort.
WHAT: attend a County Council meeting for the new Ten-Year Water & Sewer Plan.
WHY: Sewer Sprawl Threatens the Ag Reserve and Our Clean Streams
WHEN: 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, but best to be there by 9:00 or earlier since they could rearrange the schedule
WHERE: Council Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850 – this is the County Council building in downtown Rockville; there is a parking garage in the rear
Suggested hand-held signs to bring (8 1/2 x 11 inches max):
"Sewer Sprawl = Less Clean Water for All"
"Stop Sewer Sprawl"
"Friends Don't Let Friends Hook up to Sewers"
"Don't Sewer Us"
*** Sample email ***
Subject: Stop Sewer Sprawl
I am outraged that the County wants to push sewer pipes into low density areas which will threaten our clean streams. WSSC spilled more than 9 million gallons of raw sewage into streams in the last 3 calendar years including local streams in Montgomery County.
Do not allow sewer lines to sprawl into our long protected low density and rural areas. You must accept the Water & Sewer Plan language proposed by the Montgomery Coalition to Stop Sewer Sprawl.
At this Tuesday's worksession (2/27), Councilmembers must make these crucial edits to the Water and Sewer Plan:
(1) Base the septic area surveys and decisions on preventing, documenting, and addressing actual and imminent public health hazards.
(2) County (DPS and DEP) must begin immediately to educate property owners on septic systems to support effective long-term maintenance of on-site systems.
Unlike some special interest groups who have provided comments, my only special interest is to protect our water for ALL residents of Montgomery County – I don’t seek special concessions for the financial benefit of just a few individuals.
Our clean water matters!
*** END Sample email ***
For additional background information, please see below.