Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing


Tracer Wire Interpretation - Maryland Board of Plumbing


Public Utilities Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, §12-129

1. Is tracer wire necessary if the water or sewer pipe is copper or another type of detectable pipe?
No, only if there is a non-metallic joint or fitting in the length of the run.

2. Is the intent of the legislation to include private sewer pipe to the septic tank?
The intent would be to use tracer wire on private sewer pipe however some jurisdictions require the inspection by the local Health Department.

3. Are water and sewer pipes from one building to another included?

4. Are underground water pipe to hydrants and sprinklers included?
Yes, if the source of the water supply connects to the water system adjacent to or inside the building.

5. Does the legislation only include tracing the sewer and water lines from the property line to the first building?
No, it would also include any buildings with sewer and water service that are connected to the first building.

6. Is tracer wire required on a private well if the electric wiring for the submersible well pump motor is located in the same trench?

7. Should the pressure line from the grinder pump basin to the public street have a tracer wire?
Yes, if it’s non-metallic.

8. Does section §12-129(B)(3)(i) refer to public water and sewage systems?
A supply system would include water or sewer service adjacent to the building premises, private or public.

9. §12-129(B)(3)(ii) Sounds like it is piping from the building to the sewage disposal or process equipment. This sounds like private sewage piping.
This also can include public sewer. For instance ejector pumps and lift pumps located on private property.

10. The stated purpose of Senate Bill 401 is to use detectable wires to connect buildings to water supply “systems” or sewage “systems’. Are these “systems” public?
Both public and private water and sewer can be referenced as systems.

11. Is the building owner responsible for running the wire all the way to the pipe connections if they are on public property?
The owner, owner’s agent or contractor would be responsible to install tracer wire to the point of connection at the municipal system.

12. Is the purpose of Senate Bill 401 to protect public utility piping?
Yes, both public and private underground non-metallic water and sewer systems.

13. Do copper water pipes have to be traced?
No, unless there is a non-metallic fitting or joint in the length of the run.