Howard Water and Sewer
Many communities in Howard County are serviced by public water and sewer, as opposed to
private wells and private septic systems. In the past, the County bore the expense of designing
and installing the public systems. Those costs were then reimbursed to the County in the form of
“front foot benefit” charges, which were billed by the County to each homeowner in the
Currently, developers have the option of engineering and installing the public systems
themselves, under the supervision of the County. (Ownership of the public utility lines, when
completed, are transferred from the developer to the County; and responsibility for future repair
and maintenance of the lines is also transferred to the County.) A developer who chooses this
option is then allowed to recoup its costs from the benefitted homeowners. The developer may
assign these rights to a utility company, which will assume the responsibility for collecting the
assessments. Howard Water & Sewer Co., LLC is such a utility company.
A “Declaration of Deferred Water and Sewer Facilities Charges” (or an instrument with a similar
title) is recorded among the Land Records of Howard County. This Declaration “runs with the
land,” which means that it is binding on each homebuyer of a lot in the community until such
time that the terms of the Declaration are satisfied.
The terms of each Declaration govern the amount of the assessments and the time period.
Generally, the assessments last for a period between thirty-three to forty years. The assessments
are billed to the homeowners on an annual basis.
If a homeowner does not pay an assessment, the developer or its assignee is also entitled to
establish a lien on the property, in accordance with the Maryland Contract Lien Act.
It is important to note that these assessments are distinct from the water and sewer usage fees
that are charged to the homeowner by the County. The developer assessments, again, arise out of
the costs of the engineering and installation of the public water and sewer lines brought to the
community by the developer.
Howard Water & Sewer Co. is the developer’s assignee of the above-described utility assessment
rights, with respect to the following communities in Howard County:
- Dennis Preserve
- Ellicott Mills II
- Ellicott Square
- Federline Property
- Forest Creek
- Grovemont Overlook
- Grovemont Overlook II
- Hammonds Overlook
- Hogg Property
- Ilchester Oaks
- Ilchester Oaks II
- Kessler Property
- Locust Chapel
- Margarets Fancy
- Millers Woods Way
- Oakhurst II
- Riverside Overlook
- Stone Manor III
- Talbots Last View
- Talbots Woods
- Waverly Overlook
- Wierkowski Property