The Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJWSDC) is offering financial incentives to homeowners to maintain, fix, upgrade or replace their septic systems. The benefits of doing so are numerous and hard to pass up.
Homeowners who live in parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson and Amherst Counties who are dealing with a failing septic system, are eligible to have at least half of the cost for repair or replacement covered. In some cases, up to 80 percent of their costs will be covered. In addition to these failing systems, financial assistance is also available for septic pumpouts that help maintain functioning systems and prolong their expected lifespan.
“But not everyone is aware we are offering these incentives,” said Anne Coates, District Manager of the TJSWCD.
Three years ago, the conservation district received a grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to address the high levels of E. coli in the Hardware and Tye rivers. E. coli is a type of bacteria that can be found in human and animal feces and can be harmful to humans. Livestock and failing septic systems in our rural areas are the two main culprits of the bacteria ending up in our streams, rivers,and lakes.
In an effort to clean up the waterways, the TJSWCD launched two programs, one for the Hardware River Watershed in Albemarle and Fluvanna Counties and one for the Tye River Watershed primarily in Nelson County and a small portion in Amherst County. It means that every homeowner who lives inside those watershed area’s and has a septic system, is eligible for considerable financial assistance.
“Without any financial help, replacing a septic system can be pretty expensive,” said Lisa Hyatt, who spearheads the project for the conservation district. “That’s where we come in. No matter what your income is, if you live inside the Hardware River or Tye River Watershed, we offer to pay at least half of the costs and in some cases we pay up to 80 percent of the costs. That’s a big deal, because not only is replacing a failing septic system now doable for many people, you also greatly improve the value of your home.”
The benefits for homeowners are plentiful, as well as the benefits to the environment; failing septic systems can release bacterial pollution into waterways. In other words, by offering to help pay for repairs on failing septicsystems, residents can make huge savings, improve the value of their home, and improve water quality at the same time.
“As part of this program, we have thousands of dollars left that we would like to invest back into the community,” said District Manager Coates. “This really is win-win. It’s good for homeowners, supports the economy and it’s good for our waterways.”
Hyatt said that the financial assistance regarding septic tank upkeep is not offered to businesses, churches and owners of newly built homes.
The project is part of a larger effort to not only clean up local watersheds, but also greatly improve the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay.
The financial assistance that’s being offered to homeowners in both watersheds ends on December 31st 2019.
Are you a homeowner and interested in repairing, replacing or maintaining your septic system? Call Lisa Hyatt at the Thomas Jefferson Water and Soil Conservation District: 434-975-0224 ext. 110.
Find out if you live in the Hardware River or Tye River Watershed