Septic system financial help available

Residents in most of Rappahannock County continue to be eligible for reimbursement of 50 percent of the expense of maintaining, repairing or replacing on-lot septic systems. The parts of the county that drain to the Hughes, Hazel, Thornton, Covington and Rush rivers, including all of Battle Run, are eligible.

This is essentially most of the county, except a small area north of Amissville and the Flint Hill and north area. Also included in the project area are the Etlan and Nethers areas of Madison County and Culpeper County west of Reva, Griffinsburg and Monumental Mills. The goal of the program is to lessen the real or potential pollutant loads from ailing, failing or non-existent septic systems, that enter groundwater or surface water in these areas.

Program participants are eligible for several different payments depending on the actual needs of their system. Reimbursement payments are typically 50 percent but can reach 75 percent for individuals who qualify for low-income status. In extreme situations, 100 percent assistance may be identified through partnerships with other funding sources.

Maximum payments to property owners under average income levels are $150 maximum toward a pump out and inspection; $3,000 maximum toward a repair; $4,000 maximum toward a conventional system or $4,500 if a pump is required to move the liquids to the drain field; and $10,000 maximum toward an alternative engineered system.

Pump outs and inspections are encouraged and if further repairs are indicated the owner is still eligible for the repair payments. Applications are required and need to be approved prior to the work being done or funding can be declined. Funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Free assistance with initial assessments of individual system needs, or more information on the program, is available from the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District at 540-948-7531 or 540-825-8591.

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