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For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 7, 2023

The sixth episode of the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) Podcast, “Stay Septic Smart,” features important information and tips about properly maintaining a septic system. The DPS podcast is now available in advance of Septic Smart Week, which this year is designated from Sept. 18- 22. It is an annual campaign by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promote the importance of septic system maintenance.

“This episode of the DPS podcast will be a resource for thousands of property owners in Montgomery County who are on septic systems,” said DPS Customer Support and Outreach Division Chief Gail Lucas, who hosts the podcast.

The Department of Permitting Services podcast is now available on the DPS website and various podcast platforms, including AmazonApple and Spotify. It also is available at Subscribe to the podcast by tapping the “plus” or “follow” sign on the podcast provider’s platform.

Joining DPS Podcast host Lucas for the discussion is DPS Well and Septic Section Manager Heidi Benham, who is part of the DPS land development division. Ms. Benham and her staff of five are all licensed environmental health specialists.

“We review all permit applications to ensure that any new or replacement wells or septic systems are installed properly,” said Ms. Benham. “Our role is to protect people’s health and the environment. There are nearly 20,000 properties connected to septic systems in Montgomery County.”

Benham said there are three primary things property owners with a septic system should know.

“Where is it, what is it and what does it do are the basic questions every property owner should be able to answer,” said Ms. Benham. “Having a general awareness about those three things will help you care for the system and will help you notice when you have a problem. We want our customers to know we are here to help. Property owners can reach out to DPS to request their septic permit records. Some of our records go back to the 1950s. We can also help customers understand where the components of the septic system are located and how they work.”  

She said septic system maintenance should be considered mandatory—just like any major appliance in a home. She provides helpful tips, such as not flushing baby wipes, to extend the life of a septic system.   

Another DPS resource, a brochure titled, “A Homeowners Guide to Septic Systems” has more details about taking care of and understanding how a septic system works.

Previous podcast episodes have covered building safety, deck permits, fire prevention tips and commercial building trends, what business owners need to know about use and occupancy certificates, as well as urban farming, fence permits and zoning.

Residents are encouraged to send questions and ideas for future podcast episodes to [email protected].  

For more information about the DPS Well and Septic section, which is in the land development division, visit the DPS website.

The Department of Permitting Services is located at 2425 Reedie Drive, 7th Floor in Wheaton. The customer service lobby is open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Appointments are not necessary to get in-person assistance. Customers may also reach out to DPS staff by calling MC 311 or 240-777-0311.  

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Release ID: 23-384
Media Contact: Sonya Burke 240-777-6272