Since its inception in 2019, Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative has taken significant steps in reducing pollutants and improving the quality of Ohio’s water. Earlier this year, the initiative set aside $30 million for grants to farmers implementing better conservation practices for reducing agricultural runoff, a major contributing factor to harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie. More than 2,000 farmers have applied for these grants, representing more than 1.1 million acres of cropland within the Maumee River Watershed. More recently, the Ohio EPA announced H2Ohio funding would be set aside to replace failing household septic systems. Failing septic systems have been identified as one of the most significant sources of surface and groundwater pollution in the state of Ohio, and this marks the first instance of the H2Ohio Initiative taking steps toward tackling this issue. Read the exciting details below as well as information about additional funding available for repairing or replacing failing septic systems.
H2Ohio Funding for Failing Septic Systems
In July, the Ohio EPA announced the H2Ohio Initiative would be funneling monies for tackling failing septic systems into seven counties within the Maumee River Watershed and Lake Erie Tributaries. Sandusky, Erie, Ottawa, Putnam, Paulding, Wood, and Williams counties will each receive $250,000 in earmarked H2Ohio funds to repair or replace failing household septic systems. One of the key goals of the H2Ohio Initiative is to address the public health and environmental issues caused by failing septic systems. Of the nearly 1 million septic systems providing wastewater treatment throughout the state, an estimated 31% of those are failing to some degree, according to the Ohio EPA. An improperly functioning septic system can lead to the spread of disease and also release nitrates into the water supply, contributing to harmful algae blooms throughout the state’s lakes and rivers. The funding provided by the H2Ohio Initiative is intended to help address this issue by providing funds for replacements or upgrades, or by extending centralized sanitary sewers. H2Ohio funding is to be added to the amount received from the Ohio EPA’s revolving loan fund, which has distributed more than $2.8 million since 2017 to these seven counties to address failing septic systems.
Additional Funding Available for Addressing Septic Issues
While the H2Ohio funds have specifically been earmarked for seven counties within the Maumee River Watershed and Lake Erie Tributaries, statewide assistance for tackling failing septic systems is also available through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF). Established in 2016 by the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Water Development Authority, the WPCLF provides financial assistance to income-eligible homeowners to help cover the cost of replacing or repairing failing septic systems. Already in 2020, the WPCLF has provided more than $10.8 million across 75 of Ohio’s counties to repair or replace failing systems. Funding is also provided for doing soil evaluations and providing connections to centralized sanitary sewers, where available.
To qualify for this assistance, homeowners must apply directly to local health departments and districts. Where available, funding is provided on a sliding scale based on the HHS poverty guidelines outlined below:
|HHS Poverty Guideline||Percentage of Project Funding Eligibility|
|Less than 100%||100%|
|Between 100% – 200%||85%|
|Between 200% – 300%||50%|
To learn more about the assistance available in your community, contact your local health department.
Supeck Septic Services is the largest septic service provider in Northeast Ohio and has been providing stellar service to our community for the past 52 years. We are licensed, bonded, and insured to deliver exceptional service for your septic system maintenance, emergencies, and inspections. If you notice any of signs of septic system failure, do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a service visit.