Financial Assistance Available for Septic Systems

Septic Grant Opp FlyerGrants that pay 80% of septic system repair or installation costs are now available for homeowners who reside within the Hinkston Creek watershed in Bourbon, Nicholas, or Montgomery County. This program, funded by a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency through Kentucky Division of Water, focuses on water quality improvements in the Hinkston Creek Watershed.

Bluegrass Greensource is offering a free workshop to provide education on how to properly maintain your septic system and protect the value of your home and the environment. To be eligible to apply for funding assistance, homeowners must attend the workshop.

The free septic system workshop in Montgomery County will be held on Thursday, April 12 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the Montgomery County Health Department, located at 108 East Locust Street. Be sure to attend the workshop for more information about the program and to find out if you are eligible for financial assistance.

Each cost-share grant will pay 80% of the repair or installation cost, while the homeowner is responsible for the remaining 20%. Free septic tank pumpouts are available by application for those that attend a workshop.

For answers to questions about the workshop or program, contact Buddy Wilson at MCHD at 859-497-2427 or Lindsie Nicholas with Bluegrass Greensource at Lindsie@bggreensource.org or (859) 266-1572. Registration is encouraged but not required at http://bggreensource.org/septic-care-workshops/.

Bluegrass Greensource will be participating in community events in Mount Sterling and throughout Montgomery County to raise awareness of local water quality issues and promote the financial assistance opportunities available for residents.

Later this summer, Bluegrass Greensource will be offering mini reimbursable grants for streambank buffer plantings and improvements along Hinkston Creek and its tributaries. The process will be similar with workshops where residents will learn about revegetation along streams, erosion control, and livestock exclusion. Landowners and homeowners will receive instruction on how to apply for cost-share assistance through local and federal programs (through the local Conservation District and Natural Resource Conservation Service), as well as assistance for streamside buffer establishment and applying for mini grants available through Bluegrass Greensource.

Did you know that a failing septic system can require expensive repairs, pose a serious health risk to your family and neighbors, and have negative impacts on water quality? Leaking/failing systems deliver raw sewage into our Hinkston Creek watershed, endangering people and livestock in the area with increased bacteria (E. coli) inputs into waterways. There are many serious health issues that can occur from coming into contact with untreated septic waste.  Proper maintenance is essential to keeping your system working efficiently and preventing risks of costly failure.

There are four main components of a septic system:

  1. A pipe leaving your home that carries wastewater to your tank ,
  2. A septic tank that is buried and watertight, where specific bacteria begin to break down the materials in wastewater,
  3. A drain field where wastewater exits through drainpipes and into the soil for further breakdown, and
  4. The soil, where different bacteria help to treat contamination from your wastewater as it works its way into the groundwater.

Septic Schematic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Protecting Your Septic System:

  • Arrange for a system pumpout every 3 to 5 years
  • Use water efficiently to reduce strain on the system
  • Don’t pour chemicals and non-biodegradable materials down drains or into toilets
  • Flush only sanitary waste
  • Do not flush garbage (floss, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, etc.)
  • Reduce or eliminate use of garbage disposals
  • Choose low-phosphate or phosphate-free detergents
  • Avoid driving heavy equipment, including vehicles, over the system and drainfield
  • Redirect surface water flow away from your systems leach field
  • Keep records of septic system pumping and maintenance, including a map of septic system and drainfield locations.