The Unifour Septic Tank Repair Project has received new funding for septic tank repair or replacement for the 2017-2018 year. We will be accepting applications in the coming months for septic tank repairs for those homeowners who meet the income qualifications for the project.
In the past, the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) has administered a no-interest, revolving loan program for qualifying homeowners for repairing failing septic systems. This program was a partnership involving the WPCOG, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.
In 2013, the WPCOG was awarded a $433,354.06 grant from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund (NC CWMTF) to help address the regional need for septic repairs. The grant established a no-interest, revolving loan program for repairing failing septic systems and straight piping in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties. The goal of the project was to repair or replace 50 septic tanks. In the end, the project exceeded expectations, and 63 septic systems were replaced or repaired.
The new grant, which begins immediately, is a US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) 319 grant for $220,000. We hope to repair at least 30 septic tanks with this funding in the coming year. The participating counties are providing an in-kind match for the program. This grant remains a no-interest, revolving loan program.
The Unifour Septic System Repair Program is beneficial for multiple reasons including, helping low-income individuals with a much-needed expense, the public health benefits from preventing septic runoff and the environmental benefits for water quality.
Qualifications for the program include being a homeowner, not exceeding 300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines and having visible or physical runoff pollution from the septic tank site. Preference is given to those, in some cases, that are more of an immediate threat to water quality. If you have any questions about the program, please contact John E. Wear at (828) 485-4283.