The Division of Planning and Permitting is responsible for the coordination of long-term water and sewer planning with the county’s comprehensive planning process. The County Comprehensive Plan identifies community growth area boundaries, which are used as the basis for delineating public water and sewer service areas. The comprehensive plan also provides guidance for the timing of development relative to the availability of water and sewer service.
The Planning and Permitting Division administers updates and amendments to the County Water and Sewerage Plan and coordinates interagency review with the Division of Water & Sewer Utilities, the Health Department, and the County Attorney’s Office.
The State of Maryland requires an update of the County’s Water and Sewerage Plan every three (3) years. The Triennial Update includes revisions to various data in the Water and Sewerage Plan, including infrastructure expansions, new water or wastewater capacities, current permitting information, as well as any policy changes related to the planning and provision of public water and sewer service.
On November 19, 2019, the County Council approved the 2019 Triennial Update (“2019 Update”). The Planning Department then transmitted the 2019 Update to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) for their review and final approval.
On February 19, 2020, the MDE extended their review period for 45 days, and requested additional data from Planning Staff. Upon receipt of the requested materials, the MDE issued their formal approval of the 2019 Update, but “modified” portions of the 2019 Update to reflect the incorporation of the new data. The modified portions of the 2019 Update, plus additional data identified by the MDE (and incorporated into the Plan by Staff) were presented to the County Council at a public hearing on February 2, 2021. The County Council approved the Triennial Update on February 2, 2021. The MDE approved the Triennial Update of the Water and Sewerage Plan on April 22, 2021.
The links below contain the MDE approved Water and Sewerage Plan
For more information, contact Tim Goodfellow in the Planning Department at 301.600.2508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The links below contain the MDE approved Water and Sewerage Plan.
Applications for Water and Sewerage Plan map and/or text amendments are processed 3 times per year:
When an application for a plan amendment is filed, county staff conducts an initial review to determine if all checklist items are met. If all items are met the application will be scheduled for a public hearing with the Planning Commission for a finding of consistency with the Comprehensive Plan. If the application is found to be consistent it will be forwarded to the County Council for a public hearing and final decision. If the application is approved at this stage it is referred to the Maryland Department of the Environment for final approval.
Frederick County Water and Sewerage Plan
The Water and Sewerage Plan overall focus is to guide the provision of public water and sewerage service that is consistent with State goals and regulations and with the County's Comprehensive Plan. The plan document identifies goals and policies regarding water and sewer service including systems maintained by the municipalities and the county. Background information is provided about the Comprehensive Plan and descriptions are provided for all individual water and sewerage systems including their capacities and future demands. The Water and Sewerage Plan is required by the Maryland Department of the Environment to be reviewed every 3 years and updated if necessary. The current Plan was approved on April 22, 2021.
The purpose of wellhead protection is to protect groundwater resources of community public water supplies to reduce the potential for ground and surface water contamination. Between 2000 - 2005 the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) published a series of Source Water Assessments for each of the county's community water systems that rely on groundwater. These assessments addressed the following:
In 2007, Frederick County adopted a Wellhead Protection Ordinance, which only applies to the county's jurisdiction. The ordinance established wellhead protection areas for all community groundwater supply systems, amended a section of the county code to include new regulations for hazardous substance storage tanks, and prohibited certain land uses and activities within designated wellhead protection areas. Several municipalities have adopted their own wellhead protection ordinances including Middletown, Mt. Airy, Walkersville, Myersville, and Frederick.
Designation of Wellhead Protection Districts
The designation of Wellhead Protection Districts, and careful regulation of activities within these districts, can reduce the potential for ground and surface water contamination. Public drinking water systems in Frederick County draw on both ground water (i.e., wells) and surface water (i.e. lakes and rivers) sources.
The State of Maryland has completed source water assessments of each public drinking water system and has delineated a Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA), which contributes water recharge to that source. Potential sources of contamination within that WHPA were also identified. It will be up to local governments to determine whether or not they wish to regulate activity within the WHPAs to reduce the potential for ground and surface water contamination.
Workshop on Local Regulations
On Friday, June 9, 2006, the Board of County Commissioners held a workshop to hear from several speakers about the state and local regulations on chemical and petroleum storage tanks with regard to protecting public water supply groundwater resources. This workshop is available on DVD.
Changes to the Zoning Ordinance
On May 26, 2007 the Board of County Commissioner approved a series of changes to the Zoning Ordinance, which brought the definition of Wellhead Protection Area and Hazardous Material up to date with accepted usage. The sections dealing with tanks and hazardous materials storage were amended to further protect public drinking water supplies.