St. Mary's Suspends Perc Testing Until 2009

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (March 25, 2008)—The St. Mary's County government today announced that they have suspended wet season perc testing for all soil types until the next wet season which is not expected until 2009. The announcement was made by the Environmental Health Services division of the Health Department.

Health department staff conducted the last perc tests for the season on Friday, March 21.

Officials at the health department are citing declining groundwater levels as the reason, determined by observing conditions within a network of monitoring wells in the county.

According to Leslie Payne, public information officer for the Health Department, the staff was able to complete 108 tests during the three week testing period. One hundred twenty-six applications were pending when the testing was brought to a close last week.

Perc tests applications received this season, which have not been scheduled, will be placed on hold and scheduled first when ground water levels are adequate for the next wet season. Payne said applicants may also request a refund; however, they must reapply when the wet season returns and will lose their place in line for scheduling.

Perc tests are required to test the soil conditions to see if a building lot can sustain a septic system. If the lot passes the test, the results are also used to determine the specifications of the septic system that must be installed.

The inability to pass the perc test will prevent a home from being built on the lot.

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