County OKs contracts to help homeowners with failing septic systems


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MOUNT GILEAD — The Ohio EPA is helping eligible Morrow County homeowners repair or replace failing home sewage treatment systems with a $300,000 principal forgiveness loan/grant to Morrow County.

The Morrow County Board of Commissioners has assigned administration of the HSTS program to the Morrow County Development Office (MCDO). The MCDO is working collaboratively with the Morrow County Health Department in identifying and assisting those households that meet the criteria of the HSTS program.

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 with up to a 100 percent grant for eligible homeowners. In addition to correcting potential health concerns, local water quality will benefit from HSTS improvements.

In the latest round of bid packets, Sherminator Excavating, Inc. and K&B Water Well Drilling and Excavating were the winning contractors to repair or replace septic systems identified throughout the county. The next round of projects go to bid in October.

Eligible Morrow County homeowners can receive a 100-percent, 85-percent or 50-percent share in assistance 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.

“Morrow County is the headwaters to several large watersheds across Ohio. Millions of people rely on water that originated from Morrow County for their drinking water,” said Shane Farnsworth, Morrow County Development Director.

“We are very excited to offer this program to homeowners of Morrow County. This allows for people to improve their environment while continuing to stay in their homes.”

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. More information about the HSTS program and how to apply is available at: www.developmorrow.com.

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