The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has announced that it will suspend wet season perc testing effective Friday, March 24, 2023. The decision was made due to declining groundwater levels in the county, which have been observed through a network of monitoring wells.

All perc test applications that were not scheduled and evaluated will be suspended and rescheduled first when groundwater levels are adequate for the next wet season, expected in 2024. Applicants may also request a refund, but they must then reapply when the wet season returns and will lose their place/priority for scheduling during the next perc testing season.

Perc testing, also known as percolation testing, determines if the soil at a property is suitable for a septic system. The testing involves digging test pits and monitoring the rate at which water drains through the soil.

The SMCHD’s decision to suspend wet season perc testing will impact property owners and developers who were planning to apply for perc tests in the coming months. However, the health department is taking this step to ensure that testing is conducted in a safe and effective way for the community.

For more information, property owners and developers can contact the Environmental Health Division at (301) 475-4321 or via email at Additional information about perc testing is available on the SMCHD website at

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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