Time is running out

Septic systems are a way of life for rural homeowners and offer a convenient and efficient way to treat home wastewater. There are 1.3 million on-site septic systems in Michigan and an estimated 10% are failing. A failing septic system contributes harmful bacteria into surface and groundwater, which pose serious environmental and health risks.

If you live in the Maple River Watershed within Shiawassee County, now is the time to take advantage of the Septic System Assistance Program offered through the Shiawassee Conservation District. Through this program, financial assistance is available to homeowners who have a failing septic system, but this program expires this year!!

Signs of a failing septic system include backing up or slowed drains, a wet or spongy drain field, lush plant growth in the yard and foul odors either in the home or the yard. In the winter months, snow may melt quicker and frost may not accumulate over a failing drain field.

To participate in the Conservation District’s Septic System Assistance Program, the first step is to schedule a confidential, home risk assessment. This Home*A*Syst is an excellent way for homeowners to learn more about their home site and possible risks to their well and septic system. After the initial consultation, the Shiawassee County Environmental Health Department will assess the septic system for the state of failure. If it is failing and meets the program’s requirements, it may be eligible for cost-share to cover 75% (up to $15,000) of the cost to replace the system.

The Maple River Septic System Assistance Program is completely voluntary and is only available through this year. To find out if you qualify and to learn how you can make positive changes to help protect our most precious water resources, contact the Shiawassee Conservation District at 989-723-8263 ext. 3.

The Septic System Assistance program is a part of the larger effort by the Conservation District to address nonpoint source pollution in the Maple River Watershed. Funding comes from a Conservation District grant from the Michigan Department of EGLE’s Nonpoint Source Program by the U.S. EPA.

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