The third public meeting concerning the proposed new wastewater treatment plan for Mountain Church was held in Perry Hall. It was standing room only again.

The requested permit is for the church to build a half-million dollar treatment plant to handle at the minimum 2,499 gallons of sewage and discharge the treated wastewater into the small Indian Grave Run which starts on the church property and ends in the Little Gunpowder River at Jerusalem Mill Historic Village. The overall consensus of the group was that any sewage discharge should remain on site and not be shunted down through the communities along Little Gunpowder.


As District 7 Del. Rick Impallaria so aptly phrased it, “My septic [discharges] stay on my land and does not run downhill to others, Mountain Church should do the same with theirs.”

The Gunpowder Riverkeeper said that no discharge should be allowed into Indian Grave Run. The aide for Baltimore County Councilman, David Marks, stated they would abide and support any condition “the Gunpowder Riverkeeper would request.”

No Harford County Councilmen attended. Also at the meeting were District 7 representatives: Sen. J.B. Jennings, Del. Kathy Szeliga, Del. Lauren Arikan.

The main points raised are:

- The church has stated in the permit that they need the additional sewage discharge capacity for new buildings. Several people commented on the large size of the church in such a rural area and asked how that could happen.

- The church’s website cites the need for new parking lots. The current drainfield would be abandoned with the new system and could be paved over to accommodate new parking lots.

- The detriment caused by this system would far outweigh the benefits to the Class III Trout stream, e.g., high water temperature, dispersal of chemical toxins from pharmaceuticals people ingest, and much more.

- The discharge from any system should stay on the large properties of the church, be it by using sand mounds, pumping existing tanks, etc.

- Concern that with increased ability to discharge wastewater would escalate the use of water by the church, endangering the hydrology of the land.

- Surrounding private well owners could experience loss of water and failure of wells due to additional water usage by the church.

- Accidents do happen, electricity can and does fail, at which point raw sewage may pour from the pipes of the plant.

What can you do? Send a letter. Voice your concerns on offsite wastewater discharging as part of the public written comment period by Aug. 2 to:

Mr. Yen-Der Cheng

Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)


Chief, Wastewater Permits, WSA

Ref# 18DP3850

1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 455

Baltimore, MD 21230-1708