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Service Area Category Changes

Instructions and Application

To change a service area category for a particular piece of property, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out the Water/Sewer Category Change Request Form (.doc, 303KB). You may find that your County property tax bill and the Maryland Real Property database is useful for finding the information you'll need to complete the form. Click for instructions and information about the application.

  2. Calculate the fee from the information and instructions packet (see the last link under step 1).

  3. Take your payment and two (2) copies of the application fee receipt (in person) to the Treasury Department at 255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15, Rockville, MD 20850 (the same building as the Department of Environmental Protection). Hours: 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday. Be sure to get your copy of the application fee receipt stamped to show that the Treasury Department received your payment.

  4. Take the stamped receipt and the application upstairs to the DEP office.

Each application goes through the review process outlined below with comments from DEP, the Department of Permitting Services(DPS), the Montgomery County Department of Parks and Planning (M-NCPPC), and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). Agency comments are posted on the Web, and all interested parties are notified. Written public testimony is accepted at any time during the review period.

Current service area category change requests.


Application Review Process

All applications go through an administrative process review or a County Council process review. By default, category change requests—as amendments to the County's Water and Sewer Plan—are intended to be considered by the County Council, as provided for under state law. In the mid-1980s, however, the Council found itself having to address many requests of a fairly routine nature. In response, the Council developed and adopted the administrative delegation process for approving noncontroversial category change requests.

Under limited circumstances, the executive branch of the County (through the Director of DEP) acts on category change requests through the administrative process review. DEP may act to approve or conditionally approve an amendment or to defer an amendment to the Council for its process review. The authority is discretionary. The Director of DEP may also defer action on any potential administrative amendment to the County Council.

Learn more about the administrative process.

Learn more about the County Council process



Interagency Review Process   


Public Hearing and Meeting Schedule

Planning Board Discussion:

Date/Time: Thursday, January 15, 2015
M-NCPPC Auditorium, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring
Refer to Planning Board website ( for the agenda. Planning Board Recommendation

County Council Public Hearing:

Date/Time: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.
Location: Third Floor Hearing Room, Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville
Hearing record closes on (to be announced).

T&E Committee Worksession:

Date/Time: RESCHEDULED to Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.
Location: Seventh Floor Hearing Room, Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville
The County Council staff packet for this meeting will be posted to:


Full Council Worksession:

Date/Time: To be Announced
Check back for more information
Location: Third Floor Hearing Room, Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville

Full Council Action:

Date/Time: To be Announced
Check back for more information
Location: Third Floor Hearing Room, Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville

Select the "Completed Actions" link at the right to see recent Council resolutions for the Water and Sewer Plan.
Learn more about the public hearing process



Current Administrative Review Packet

AD 2014-2 Administrative Packet (PDF, 15.9MB)

AD 2014-2 Summary of Action (2/17/15) (PDF, 12.14MB)

Public Hearing Schedule

DEP Public Hearing

Date/Time: Tuesday, January 6, 2015, at 11:00 a.m.
Location: DEP, 255 Rockville Pike, Suite #120, Rockville, MD 20850

Note: Due to adverse weather conditions, DEP will leave this hearing record open until Friday, January 30, 2015.

Planning Board Hearing Date: Thursday, January 8, 2015













Learn more about the public hearing process

Application Hearing Schedule

Current public hearing dates (PDF, 155KB) are posted below for both Administrative Review packets and County Council Review packets.

See Projected hearing dates for Administrative and County Council packets for a planned schedule for category change requests filed during the current fiscal year. (Word, 95Kb)

Note: This calendar is tentative and intended only as a guide to help project the timing of your application review process.


Current Application Status

Recent Updates

  • July 31, 2014 – Posted to the “Service Area Category Changes page: the packet sent for interagency review with twelve new category change applications from the third and fourth quarters of FY 2014. (Corrected version posted August 1, 2014.)

  • July 2, 2014 – Updated the “Completed Actions” page.

  • February 5, 2014 - Posted the packet sent for interagency review with six new category change applications from the first and second quarters of FY 2014.

  • November 13, 2013 - Added the Planning Board recommendation and Council hearing record closing date for the September 2013 amendment packet. 

  • October 28, 2013 - Posted the packet sent for interagency review with 10 new category change applications from the fourth quarter of FY 2013.

  • October 16, 2013 - Posted information concerning the September 2013 County Council category change packet

  • May 30, 2013 – Posted a category change correction amendment for WSCCR 05A-OLN-02, Parker Memorial Baptist Church. (See the Administrative Actions table under the “Completed Actions” link at right)

  • May 20, 2013 - Posted the first, second, and third quarters FY 2013 new category change review packet

Links to DEP's category change application interagency review packets are provided below.

Completed Actions


Administrative Delegation Actions

AD 2014-2  (2/17/15) (PDF, 12.14MB)

AD 2014-1 (6/27/14) (PDF, 1.22MB)

AD 2013-1 (5/22/14) (PDF, 11MB)

AD 2012-2 (3/8/13) (PDF, 11MB)

County Council Actions

September 2013 Co. Exec. Transmittal Packet:

Resolution 17-956 (12/3/13) (PDF, 214KB)

March 2012 Co. Exec. Transmittal Packet: 

Resolution 17-504 (7/24/12) (PDF, 1.14MB)


Final Approval & Other Actions

WSSCR 11A-OLN-01, Dashes/Final (1/7/15)  (PDF, 1.33 MB)

WSCCR 09A-CKB-01/final (12/12/14), Orchard Run (PDF, 599 KB)

WSCCR 06A-OLN-01/final, Hyde (6/26/14) (PDF, MB)

WSCCR 12-OLN-01A/final, Polinger (6/5/14) (PDF, 606KB)

WSCCR 14-PAX-01C/correction, Dunn (5/27/14) (PDF, 617KB)

WSCCR 05A-OLN-02/correction, Parker Memorial Baptist Church (5/16/13) (PDF, 1.14MB)








Frequently Asked Questions


Why would I apply for a category change?

If your property is currently served by well and/or septic and you'd like to request public water and sewer, but your property is not in the correct category for public water and/or sewer, you must fill out a water and sewer category change application.


How do I determine the category for my property?

The property's category is available as a data layer on a map. Follow these step-by-step directions to use the County's interactive MapViewer to locate your property address and check its water and sewer category.


What do the different categories mean?

The definitions of the water and sewer categories are spelled out in the category designations and definitons table.


How do I find all the property information that is asked for on the category change request form?

You can search the Maryland Real Property database and display your property records at the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation site.


How will my category change request be reviewed and how will a response be made?

Refer to the detailed Application Review Process in the right hand navigation.


How do I prepare for a public hearing about my category change application?

First, determine whether your application will go through the Administrative Review Process or the County Council review process. Then, follow the instructions found on the administrative review process page or the County Council review process page.


How long does the review take?

The length of time it takes for the application to be processed depends on both the date the application is submitted and the nature and details of the application. If your category change request is going through the administrative process review, your application is handled by a Planning Board that meets four times a year to adjudicate applications for category changes. If your property is going through a County Council process review, hearings on category change applications are handled twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.


What do I do after my category change has been approved?

If the category change connects your property to an existing utility line, contact WSSC's Permitting Services. If you need a utility line extension, contact WSSC's Development Services Group.


What if my category change request has been denied?

You may usually reapply 1 year after the date of your application denial. Before reapplying, it's useful to see if anything has changed since your initial application, such as the proximity of water and sewer lines, the zoning, or the intended sewer service envelope for the County. Also contact DEP at for an explanation of why your request was denied or if there have been significant changes in the area of interest.


What if conditional approvals have been put on my category change request?

After you've met the conditions, you must notify DEP and provide documentation proving that the conditions have been met. A final approval memo for the category change will be sent to you.


Who do I contact for more information?

For further assistance, contact the Department of Environmental Protection at or call 240.777.7700.