Residents in targeted areas of Gloucester, Middlesex and Mathews counties are now eligible for grant funds to help pay for septic tank repairs, inspections, replacement and more as part of an effort to help address bacteria pollution in nearby waters.
The funds, provided by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and administered by the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, are part of a project to address bacteria pollution that’s led to reductions in shellfish harvesting in the Piankatank River, around Gwynn’s Island and the Milford Haven watershed area.
The upper Piankatank River watershed is located between the Rappahannock and York rivers in Gloucester and Mathews counties. The lower Piankatank River watershed touches Mathews and Middlesex counties, with Gwynn’s Island and Milford Haven in Mathews County.
Grant funds are available to cover 50 percent of the costs for septic tank pump-outs, conventional septic system repairs, septic system inspections and maintenance, installation to replace a failing system or a system no longer in compliance, and alternative septic system installation.
There are no income requirements to qualify for the grant funds for those who live in the described targeted areas.
The Environmental Protection Agency has called improperly maintained and failing septic systems one of the top five pollutants for water quality, which can cause toxic nutrient releases that can harm humans and wildlife.
“For many homeowners in our community, a septic system can be the most expensive thing they own, next to their home itself,” said MPPDC executive director Lewie Lawrence. “Being able to bring these grant funds to our community is an important step in supporting residents while also contributing to the health, welfare and safety of our entire community.”
For more information about these grant opportunities, or to find out if your property is eligible for the funds, contact the MPPDC at 804-758-2311 or visit mppdc.com.