POMEROY — Meigs County is one of six counties in southeastern Ohio to qualify for help from the Ohio EPA with repair or replacement of household sewage treatment systems from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.
The other counties are Hocking, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum and Perry. The Ohio EPA can issue loans to individuals of up to $56,000 to help pay for household sewage treatment system repair and replacement. The loans are being issued from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) and will help each county save an estimated $87,736-$90,288 over the 20-year lives of the loans when compared to the market rate.
Through their respective counties, homeowners are then eligible to receive this WPCLF funding with either 85 percent or 100 percent in principal forgiveness (which does not need to be repaid) for the cost to repair or replace their failing on-site systems. The percentage is dependent on the number of people living in the home and the household income, it was reported.
It was noted that the projects will benefit low-income residents by eliminating their failing on-site systems at an affordable cost. In addition to correcting potential health concerns associated with the failing systems, local water quality and aquatic life will benefit from the improvements.
Since 1989, Ohio’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund has awarded more than $6 billion in below-market financing for sewage treatment plant upgrades and other water quality improvement projects. The program has saved borrowers more than $1.1 billion in interest. Low-interest loans also have been provided to municipalities and individuals for agricultural best management practices; home sewage system improvements; contaminated site cleanup; and landfill closures. Additionally, the WPCLF can provide 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.
The loan program is managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental reviews of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.