PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Lauer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss
Ross County Receives Funding from Ohio EPA to Help Homeowners with Failing Septic Systems
Ohio EPA has approved a $300,000 principal forgiveness loan to Ross County to help qualifying homeowners address failing septic systems. This funding is offered through Ohio EPA’s Home Sewage Treatment Systems (HSTS) Repair/Replacement Program for 2017.
This state initiative, which is part of Ohio’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF), will improve the quality of life for low-income residents by eliminating failing home sewage treatment systems at an affordable cost. In addition to correcting potential health concerns, local water quality will benefit from the improvements, including reducing nutrients and bacteria in local streams.
Qualified homeowners will be eligible to receive 100 percent, 85 percent or a 50 percent share in principal forgiveness toward the cost to repair or replace their failing home septic treatment systems. The percentage is dependent on family household income levels. This project will help to eliminate failing household septic treatment systems throughout Ross County at an affordable cost, addressing potential health concerns and local water quality problems by reducing much of the sewage discharged into area streams.
Created in 1989, the WPCLF provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. In addition to improvements to publicly owned treatment works, WPCLF loans have been provided for agricultural best management practices, home sewage system improvements, landfill closures and water quality-based storm water projects. The WPCLF provides technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing 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 EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The loan program is 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 fund.
More information about the WPCLF is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.