Financial assistance available to replace septic systems

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Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District (FSWCD) is pleased to announce the continuation of the Fayette County HSTS Program.

This program provides financial assistance for the repair and/or replacement of failing Household Septic Treatment Systems (HSTS), commonly referred to as septic systems. Applicants must meet the following conditions to be eligible: 1) The house must be owner-occupied; 2) The existing system must be certified as ‘Failing” by the Fayette County Health Department; 3) Total household income must be equal to or less than 300 percent of the 2016 U.S. Department of Health Poverty Guidelines.

The amount of financial assistance will be based on the applicant’s total household income. Incomes at or below 100 percent of the Poverty Guidelines, $24,300 for a household of four persons, will be eligible for 100 percent of the cost of a repaired or replaced system. Those households between 100 percent and 200 percent of the Poverty Guidelines will be eligible for 85 percent of the system cost. Those households between 200 percent and 300 percent of the Poverty Guidelines will be eligible for 50 percent of the system cost. The income limits are higher for larger households. Approved homeowners will be required to deposit their share of the project costs into an FSWCD held escrow account prior to the start of any work on the system.

“This is a great opportunity for homeowners to get their failing HSTS back into working order,” said FSWCD Director Chet Murphy. “Failing HSTS are one of the contributors to the excess nutrients in our lakes and rivers that result in toxic algal growth in these waters. New HSTS rules went into effect statewide on January 1 of last year. These rules require a soil investigation by a soil scientist for all new system installations. A certified HSTS designer will use the results of the soil investigation to design an appropriate system that will adequately treat the sewage. If a traditional HSTS is not suitable for the site, then a more complex system, such as a sand mound, will be required. The rules are intended to ensure that sewage is properly treated and not just disposed into the local water table and surface waters.”

“FSWCD is partnering with the Fayette County Health Department and Fayette County Building Department to make this program possible,” said Murphy. “Application forms are available at the FSWCD office. Completed applications should be returned to FSWCD.”

Once an application is received, the health department will conduct a site inspection to determine if the system is failing. If the system is certified as “Failing” and the application is approved, FSWCD will administer and coordinate all activities necessary to repair and/or replace the system.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is providing $500,000 in program assistance through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. The fund provides financial and technical assistance for a variety of projects to improve the quality of Ohio’s rivers, streams, lakes and other water bodies.

FSWCD operations are supported by a local contribution from the Board of Fayette County Commissioners and by a state match through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

For more information, contact Chet Murphy at 740-636-0279 or email to Applications are available at and must be returned to:

Fayette SWCD

Attn: HSTS Program

1415 US 22 SW, Suite 500

Washington Court House OH 43160.

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