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 inter-agency review with the Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management, the Health Department, and the County Attorney’s Office.
The update of the County’s Water and Sewerage Plan is required by the State of Maryland every three (3) years. The ’Triennial Review’ occurred in 2014. As part of this update process, the Frederick County Planning Commission held, on October 8, 2014, a public hearing on the Preliminary Draft Water and Sewerage Plan and found it consistent with the County Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Commission then transmitted a Recommended Water and Sewerage Plan to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The BOCC held a public hearing on the Plan on November 6, 2014, at which time the 2014 Triennial Update to the Water and Sewerage Plan was adopted.
On December 1, 2014, the County sent the 2014 Adopted Water and Sewerage Plan to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), who requested additional data and information from the County and the municipalities regarding their water and wastewater systems. The County supplied all the requested information to MDE on May 4, 2015. The MDE then approved a ’Modified Water and Sewerage Plan’ on June 2, 2015.
The reader will see certain portions of the Plan with yellow highlight. These areas indicate the revisions made by the County as requested (and eventually approved) by the MDE.
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 Modified (and 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 July 18, 2016
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.