16-01 STEP

Queen Anne’s County Sanitary District

SKI STEP Sewer Service

User Information

How does my STEP System work?

STEP means Septic Tank Effluent Pump.  Your STEP system includes a holding tank for sewage,

a screen chamber and a small high-pressure pump within the tank.   The liquid waste is pumped through a small pressure line into sewer lines leading to the Wastewater Treatment Plant located at the Queen Anne’s County Sanitary District in Stevensville.  The solids remain in the tank to await pumping by the Queen Anne’s County Sanitary District Collection team.  Depending on usage, solids will only need to be pumped every five to eight years.

The STEP system pump is controlled by a system of floats within your tank.  The electrical box mounted on the side of you house controls the floats and pumps.  The floats activate an alarm in the electrical (alarm) box when the fluid level in the tank get too high.

Why must my tank riser lid be visible?

This helps us locate your system quickly in an emergency, situation.  A hidden or inaccessible lid means that your STEP system cannot be serviced.

  • All tank lids must remain visible and must NOT be covered by sod, shrubs, or bark and maintain a 36 – inch clearance.
  • It is possible that major landscaping items, e.g., shrubs and trees that obstruct access to the tank lids may be damaged during the performance of operation and maintenance activities.  In accordance with the STEP system easement, the owner waives any claim against the County for damage to said items in the case where work by the county is done in a reasonable manner.

Can I hide my alarm box?

  • No.  You must maintain a clearance around and in front of the electrical (alarm) box.  This means no shrubs or fences should block the box.  This allows technicians to access the box to perform routine and emergency maintenance.

I am putting up a fence, is there anything I should know?

  • Yes, please make sure your alarm box is, located in front of your fence line.  Why?  Because if your alarm box is located behind a fence, we cannot perform maintenance unless you are home.

Emergency Contact Information:

  • To report an Alarm Sounding:  Call 410-643-3535 afterhours 410-643-3535

       Think before you flush or wash certain items down the drain.  Why? Because flushing or     disposal of certain items down your drain increases your chances of system failure.  Disposal of the below items can block your system.

Do NOT flush the following items down the drain (including toilets):

  • Disposable diapers
  • Egg shells, nutshells, and coffee grounds
  • Sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, or any non-organic material
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Hair
  • Dental floss
  • Food items containing seeds and peelings
  • Fats, oil, and greases
  • Limit or eliminate your use of garbage disposal.  Instead, consider composting your feed waste items.

What is Queen Anne’s County Sanitary District responsible for?

The County is responsible for the following items:

  • Repairing and maintaining the STEP system tank, electrical (alarm) box, and outlet lines from the tank.
  • Performing preventative maintenance every five to eight years.

As the homeowner / resident, what am I responsible for?

  • Repairing and maintaining the home plumbing and sewer line from the house to the STEP system tank.
  • Providing electricity for the pump and controls which cost approximately $ 1.00 per month to operate. 
  • Calling to report an alarm, and minimizing water use during an emergency,
  • Eliminating the disposal of improper material into the STEP system. 
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