The Ohio EPA is helping eligible Highland County homeowners repair or replace failing home sewage treatment systems (HSTS) with a $300,000 principal forgiveness loan to the Highland County General Health District.
This state initiative, which is part of Ohio’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF), will improve the quality of life for local residents by eliminating failing HSTS at an affordable cost. In addition to correcting potential health concerns, local water quality will benefit from HSTS improvements.
Eligible Highland County homeowners will receive 100 percent, 85 percent or a 50 percent share in principal forgiveness for the cost to repair or replace their failing septic system. The percentage is dependent on family household income levels. This project also will help keep inadequately treated or untreated sewage from contaminating local streams and ground water, reducing the potential for negative human health impacts.
Created in 1989, the WPCLF provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. WPCLF loans are used for many purposes such as agricultural best management practices, home sewage system improvements like this one, landfill closures, water quality-based storm water projects and to improve publicly owned treatment works. 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 help 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.
Submitted by Paula Payne, Ohio EPA.