As a Howard County resident, you can make a big impact on reducing stormwater pollution by increasing the amount of surfaces on your property that absorb stormwater runoff. In addition to protecting the environment by reducing runoff, you'll also have the opportunity to reduce your Watershed Protection Fee and/or be reimbursed for your projects.
We have two residential programs that you can participate in, which are all funded by the Watershed Protection Fee.
**Homes must be built before 2003 to be eligible for the program** This follows a distinct timeline. See CleanScapes page for details.
There are eight different Best Management Practices that can be installed on your property to address stormwater concerns. Homeowners will follow the program timeline, including submitting an application for an opportunity to reduce their Watershed Protection Fee and/or be reimbursed for projects. Anyone can participate in this program.
The County provides a financial incentive for homeowners to pump their septic systems every 3 years. You will need your invoice showing your system was pumped by a Howard County licensed hauler for a $100 rebate, while funds are available.
The Watershed Protection Fee aims to improve the water quality of streams and rivers in your neighborhood and the Chesapeake Bay by funding projects that treat Howard County stormwater runoff. All residential property owners are charged the fee based on the size of their property. The fee is included on the real property tax bills which will are issued July 1 of each year and is only billed once per year. Watershed Protection Fee credit applications must be submitted before April 1st for any credit to be considered for the current year tax bill.
For owners of residential properties, the annual watershed protection fee structure is as follows:
- $15 for owners of townhouses, mobile homes, and condominiums
- $45 for owners of homes on lots of one-quarter acre or less
- $90 for owners of homes on lots larger than one-quarter acre.
If you aren't sure about the exact size of your lot, check the State Department of Assessments and Taxation's website here
If you believe you were billed in error (note County law only allows adjustments for 3 specific reasons) please complete the Adjustment Request Form here.