The Politics of Flushing? The Basics of Septic and Sewer at #MACoCon

On Thursday afternoon of MACo’s Winter Conference, be sure to attend our panel on sewer vs septics.  

You really do not appreciate your wastewater infrastructure until your toilet doesn’t flush. Sewer and septics systems represent the most underappreciated and unexpectedly controversial pieces of infrastructure. While it may not seem obvious initially, new county leaders need to understand the basics around the debate between sewer and septic issues. These critical systems remove waste, keep communities healthy, and cause quite the political stink when something goes wrong.

Title: The Politics of Flushing? The Basics of Septic and Sewer

Description: Septic systems provoke many questions and misconceptions. Over 420,000 homes in Maryland rely on septic, with many more served by public sewer systems. Although both types of systems accomplish similar end goals, there are dramatic differences – and county leaders need to be aware of them to make the best governing decisions for their communities. In this session, speakers will explore the basics of septic systems, the regulatory structure that protects the environment and public health, and the evolving political debate over wastewater treatment.


  • Matt Cumers, Calvert County, 1st Vice President of Maryland Conference of Environmental Health Directors
  • Dr. Andrew Lazur, Water Quality Specialist, UMD Extension Service
  • Les Knapp, Local Government Advisor, MDE

Moderator: The Honorable Katie Fry Hester, Maryland Senate

Date/Time: Thursday, January 5, 2023; 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Hit the Ground Running,” will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD from January 4-6, 2023 (with a pre-conference orientation for new county officials on January 3).

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: