In 2014, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued a groundwater discharge permit to Father Martin’s Ashley, for their facility overlooking the Chesapeake Bay near Havre de Grace in Harford County, Maryland. The permit allows treated wastewater discharge from a new, large septic system. The additional septic discharge capacity is needed to support a facility upgrade and the installation of a new, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system to afford significantly enhanced Bay protection. A ribbon cutting for the facility expansion was held on June 11, 2014.
To support issuance of the permit, we performed percolation tests of the soil, completed a detailed hydrogeologic evaluation of the unusually complex multi-layered aquifer system, collected baseline groundwater monitoring information and developed field data supportive of a conservative groundwater mounding analysis. The issuance of the MDE groundwater discharge permit was based in part on the favorable outcome of this evaluation, wherein we also evaluated nitrogen balance and the hydrologic, assimilative capacity of the aquifer.
We found that the planned level of effluent discharge could occur without undue groundwater mounding effects or violation of State water quality standards. MDE agreed that the site is suitable for a high-capacity septic system and it issued the permit in the quantities requested.