thinking of buying a home in howard county

Asked July 31, 2017, 10:12 PM EDT

For anne arundel county I can visit the watershed gis interactive lookup tool on the web and it will give me the 5 grades of soil on a property and quickly tell me whether the soil is highly infiltratable or is lowly impermeable. Is there such a tool with Howard county? The tool at anne arundel is found here: http://gis-world3.aacounty.org/HTML5Viewer/index.html?viewer=WPRP?viewer=WPRP and is easy to use once one gives a property address. This would be very helpful If I could use a similar application for Howard County. I would think this data already exists. Thanks

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

In general, Howard County has great soil. It is mostly within the Piedmont Region.
While we are not aware of an app that shows you this, the best agency to talk to is Howard County Soil Conservation. (https://www.howardscd.org/) They have maps of all areas of Howard County and the native soils for each area, for instance here: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/surveylist/soils/survey/state/?stateId=MD
The problem could arise though if the native soils have been greatly disturbed or compacted, which can happen during construction, etc. We are not sure how an app would be able to measure this.
This is where a 'perk test' is used, where you dig a hole and fill it with water and see how quickly the water drains out.
At the most basic level, observe what is growing on and around the property that you are interested in for clues to the soil make-up. Remember too that garden soils can and should be amended with organic matter when planting.

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