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Drinking Water

Pro­tect­ing and puri­fy­ing our community’s fresh drink­ing water is one of our most vital tasks. Water is one of our great­est resources and is strictly reg­u­lated through fed­eral and local guidelines.

Drink­ing water is reg­u­lated by the U.S. EPA while bot­tled water that is pur­chased is reg­u­lated by the U.S. FDA. Inter­est­ingly, the agen­cies do not fol­low the same guide­lines to reg­u­late the con­sump­tion of water. The EPA’s guide­lines for com­mu­nity water are far stricter than those used by the bot­tled water indus­try.  So set down that bot­tled water and go to the tap with a reusable bot­tle for a refill.

Reser­voirs and Drink­ing Water Supply

All of Howard County pub­lic water is pur­chased from Bal­ti­more City and the Wash­ing­ton Sub­ur­ban San­i­tary Com­mis­sion (WSSC) through a series of nego­ti­ated legal agree­ments. The Bal­ti­more City Reser­voirs pro­vide water for most of the pub­lic water sup­ply sys­tem in Howard County.  WSSC pro­vides pub­lic water to the Lau­rel area.

The major­ity of land in Howard County is pri­vately owned, so man­age­ment prac­tices at indi­vid­ual homes and busi­nesses are crit­i­cal to local water qual­ity.  Howard County works coop­er­a­tively with Mont­gomery and Prince George’s Coun­ties, WSSC, Maryland-National Cap­i­tal Park and Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, Howard Soil Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict, and Mont­gomery Soil Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict to pro­tect the land sur­round­ing the Patux­ent reservoir.

Howard County Bureau of Utilities

Howard County’s Bureau of Util­i­ties web­page pro­vides lots of infor­ma­tion about the water pro­grams they imple­ment such as water meters, the Lit­tle Patux­ent Water Recla­ma­tion Plant, Water Reuse, Shared Sep­tics, and more. You can also find reports such as the annual water qual­ity report and water audits.

Green Tip

Use cloth napkins.It’s actually cheaper to throw cloth napkins in the wash than to buy paper ones.