Funding to help those with failing septic systems


Ohio EPA is offering communities financial assistance through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) to help low- to moderate-income homeowners repair and replace failing home sewage treatment systems (HSTS).

It is estimated that about 31 percent of all household sewage treatment systems throughout Ohio are experiencing some degree of failure due to poor maintenance or age. When failing systems discharge untreated sewage, potential exposure to harmful bacteria and pathogens can cause public health concerns and threaten the environment.

Health departments in 70 counties and two cities applied for up to a maximum of $200,000 each to distribute the funds under the HSTS program. Since the program was initiated in 2016, more than $12.5 million has been disbursed, which funded 975 soil evaluations or designs and the repair or replacement of an estimated 1,200 systems.

Depending on the household income and the number of residents, homeowners may qualify for 50 to 100 percent of the total costs for HSTS repair or replacement. From January through June 2018, more than $3.6 million has been awarded to health districts and departments in the northwest Ohio.

The Fulton County Health Department was among those receiving principal forgiveness loans, being awarded $170,000.

Ohio EPA’s state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage storm water, address combined sewer overflows and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design and construction activities and enhances the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.

Ohio’s loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the SRF funds.

More information about the WPCLF is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.