Clear Water® Program & Bay Restoration Fund

St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Clear Water® Program locally administers the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF). The BRF is a state-supported initiative that provides funding to replace conventional septic tanks with nitrogen-reducing technology. The units reduce the amount of harmful nutrients, such as nitrogen, that septic systems discharge into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Currently, applications are prioritized based on the following categories:

  1. Failing septic systems within the 1000-foot Critical Area
  2. Failing septic systems outside the 1000-foot Critical Area
  3. Non-conforming septic systems within the Critical Area
  4. Non-conforming septic systems outside the Critical Area
  5. Non-failing septic systems within the 1000-foot Critical Area Buffer
  6. Non-failing septic systems outside the 1000-foot Critical Area Buffer

The Chesapeake Bay Critical Area is all land within 1,000 feet of the high water line of tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, click here.

Grant awards will be made based on the availability of Bay Restoration funds, the priority level of the project and the property owner’s total income.

New regulations that went into effect November 24, 2016 no longer require properties that are located outside of the 1000-foot Critical Area buffer to install the Best Available Technology (BAT) for nitrogen removal as part of the onsite septic system.  For more information about the regulations, click here.

For step-by-step instructions on how to secure funds from the Clear Water® Program at the St. Mary’s County Health Department, click here.

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