There is a new septic repair and replacement program offering assistance to eligible homeowners in eligible counties in New York State.
Houses around Truesdale Lake are specifically eligible for this program to help defray the costs of upgrading or replacing their septic systems. See contact information below if you have questions.
|Truesdale Lake (1302-0054)||Heather McVeigh|
An outline of the program is below. The original PDF summary that this post is copied from is also available to download below.
NY STATE SEPTIC SYSTEM REPLACEMENT FUND
PROGRAM OUTLINE April 1, 2021
[Document is also below. If there are differences the original documents are here: https://www.efc.ny.gov/SepticReplacement]
- Septic Program Description
- Septic Repair and Replacement Priority Geographic Areas – Long Island
- Septic Repair and Replacement Priority Geographic Areas – Upstate
- Septic System Conditions Warranting Repair, Upgrade or Replacement
- Septic Program Eligibility
- Administrative and Reimbursement Process
1. Background –
a. The Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 established the State Septic System Replacement Fund (Fund). The purpose of this Fund is to replace existing Cesspools and Septic Systems that are having significant and quantifiable environmental and/or public health impacts to groundwater used for drinking water, or a threatened or impaired waterbody.
2. Definitions –
- Cesspool – a drywell that receives untreated sanitary waste containing human excreta, which sometimes has an open bottom and/or perforated sides.
- Failure – evidence of dye on the ground surface or in a watercourse, evidence of sewage effluent on the ground surface or in a watercourse, or other obvious failure of system components (i.e. collapse of a septic tank). Observed effluent may need to be confirmed as a failure by the introduction of dye into the treatment system and subsequent field observation for dye.
- Fund – the State Septic System Replacement Fund created by the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017.
- Participating County – a county that notifies the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) that it seeks authority to administer a septic system replacement program within its municipal boundaries and agrees to abide by the state program’s goals, guidelines, eligibility requirements and reimbursement procedures and provide information to property owners regarding program parameters including eligibility criteria.
- Reasonably Likely to Fail System – as judged by a County Health Department official or other authorized as identified herein, includes but is not limited to a septic system which is improperly located, improperly loaded, or has components that are improperly installed, deteriorated or otherwise not functioning, and which system can be expected to fail in the near future.
- Septic System – a system that provides for the treatment and/or disposition of the combination of human and sanitary waste with water not exceeding one thousand gallons per day, serving a single parcel of land, including residences and Small Businesses.
- Septic System Project – the replacement of a cesspool with a septic system, the installation, replacement or upgrade of a septic system or septic system components, or installation of enhanced treatment technologies, including an advanced nitrogen removal system, to significantly and quantifiably reduce environmental and/or public health impacts associated with effluent from a cesspool or septic system to groundwater used as drinking water, or threatened or an impaired waterbody.
- Small Business – a business which is resident in New York State, independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field, and employing not more than 100 individuals.
- Priority Geographic Area for surface waterbodies – the area covered by 250 feet from each side of a priority waterbody as listed on the EFC web site. (https://www.efc.ny.gov/SepticReplacement).
3. Septic Program Description –
- Only Participating Counties are eligible to receive funds.
- The Fund is administered by EFC and is authorized to reimburse property owners for up to 50 percent of the eligible costs incurred for eligible Septic System Projects, up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
- An eligible Septic System Project means the replacement of a Cesspool with a Septic System, the installation, replacement or upgrade of a Septic System or septic system components, or installation of enhanced treatment technologies to significantly and quantifiably reduce environmental and/or public health impacts associated with effluent from a Cesspool or Septic System to groundwater used as drinking water, or threatened or an impaired waterbody located in a Priority Geographic Area, and selected by a Participating County for funding from the Fund.
- The Fund is being targeted to Priority Geographic Areas within participating counties that contain: groundwater supplies (i.e., EPA sole source aquifers and primary aquifers); surface water drinking water supplies and other threatened or impaired surface waters where Septic Systems and Cesspools are known or suspected to be adversely impacting the waterbody. The counties and Priority Geographic Areas within these counties are further defined in Sections 4 and 5.
- Single family, two family and Small Businesses with an existing design sewage flow not exceeding 1,000 gallons per day (GPD) as of the date of the Fund are eligible for this program. Seasonal or secondary homes may be eligible for this program if the Participating County determines that an existing Septic System has the reasonable potential to adversely impact a priority waterbody listed on the EFC website. New construction is not eligible for the Fund.
- Wherever feasible, a failed or a Reasonably Likely to Fail System shall be brought into full compliance with Appendix 75-A. When full compliance with the standards of Appendix 75-A is not feasible or practicable, the system should be upgraded based upon best professional judgment to the extent feasible to maximize protection of public health and safety. Advanced or enhanced treatment units may also be considered, where practical. Departure from the parameters of Appendix 75-A shall be minimized to allow for the best feasible upgrade within the borders of the lot, while preserving public health, safety and the environment.
- This program does not require that existing non-complying sewage disposal systems that do not meet the standards of New York State Public Health 10 NYCRR Appendix 75-A.
(Appendix 75-A) but are not failing nor is a Reasonably Likely to Fail System in the near future be upgraded or replaced to 75-A standards.
Septic Repair and Replacement Priority Geographic Areas – Long Island
Priority Geographic Areas in Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties):
- Areas in the 0-50 year contributing zone to public drinking water wells fields.
- Areas in the 0-25 year contributing zone to surface waters.
- Areas located in an area where groundwater is less than 10 feet below grade.
- Contribute to an area that is listed as a 303(d)-impaired water body.
- Under the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan, Suffolk Counties has developed a Sub- Watershed Wastewater Plan (SWP) and Nassau County’s SWP is under way. Both SWPs evaluate parcel-specific nitrogen loads from wastewater, fertilizer, stormwater, and atmospheric deposition to the groundwater and receiving waters of more than 200 sub- watersheds. The SWPs identify Priority Geographic Areas for Septic System replacements/upgrades.
Septic Repair and Replacement Priority Geographic Areas – Upstate
- A list of Priority Geographic Areas can be found at the following website – https://www.efc.ny.gov/SepticReplacement.
- Septic Systems located within 250 feet of the waterbodies listed on the above website that are failing or a Reasonably Likely to Fail System are eligible to participate in the program. Septic Systems located greater than 250 feet from the waterbodies listed on the above website that are failing or a Reasonably Likely to Fail System may be eligible to participate in the program if the Participating County determines that the existing Septic System has the reasonable potential to adversely impact any such waterbody.
6. Septic System Conditions Warranting Repair, Upgrade or Replacement
a. If any of the following conditions are identified during a septic inspection, these are indications the Septic System is failing or a Reasonably Likely to Fail System. The process of repair and replacement may require additional inspections and an additional pump-out.
i. Indicators of an overloaded and/or clogged absorption area, including seepage pit, leach field or Cesspool:
1. There is back-up of sewage into the facility served by the system or any component of the system because of an overloaded and/or clogged leach field, seepage pit or Cesspool.
- There is a discharge of effluent directly or indirectly to the surface of the ground (through ponding or surface breakout) or to a surface water.
- The system contains a Cesspool without a separate tank component for primary solids separation and storage, (i.e., no septic tank).
- The septic tank requires pumping four or more times a year.
ii. Component Deficiencies
- The septic tank is made of metal and does not comply with the UL-70 standard, or is made of metal, masonry block or other material and show signs of deterioration or is cracked or otherwise structurally unsound, indicating that significant infiltration or exfiltration is occurring or is imminent.
- Distribution box is not level.
- Services line(s) are cracked/opened.
- Pretreatment unit is not functioning properly.
- Other system components are deteriorated, not properly installed, or otherwise not functioning correctly.
iii. Location Deficiencies
- Any portion of the absorption area extends to within 2 feet of the seasonal high groundwater level.
- Any portion of the absorption area is located within 100 feet of an individual well, or 200 feet of a public water supply or 200 feet from an individual well that is located downhill and in direct line of drainage from the absorption facility.
- Any portion of the absorption field is located within 100 feet of a waterbody and the replacement system can be relocated completely outside of the 100-foot buffer.
- Any portion of the absorption field is located within 100 feet of a waterbody and the replacement system employs enhanced treatment technology.
7. Septic Program Eligibility –
- To be eligible for funding from the Fund, a Septic System Project must be determined by the Participating County to be in a Priority Geographic Area described in Sections 4 and 5 and meet the criteria of a Septic System warranting repair, upgrade and replacement as described in Section 6.
- Determinations of eligibility will be made by the Participating County based on the criteria contained herein, including its impacts to groundwater or surface waters used as drinking water or other waterbodies where Septic Systems and Cesspools are known or suspected to be a major source of pollutants, and the condition of the property owner’s current Septic System. Septic System condition may be determined by: i. County Health Department official; ii. Other designated authority having jurisdiction, pursuant to septic inspections required by a municipal separate storm sewer system permit; or iii. A septic contractor pursuant to the applicable county sanitary code.
- The inspection, design, repair or replacement of a Septic System Project must be in accordance with the following:
- Both design and construction of any rehabilitation or replacement must have been approved by the County Health Department or another authorized agent.
- Septic structures, such as gas baffles or effluent filters in septic tanks and speed levelers in distribution boxes, shall be installed on all systems if practical. When outlet filters are installed, they must be designed and installed so that they can be removed without harming the integrity of the septic tank baffles or sanitary tee.
- In all cases, the least expensive, technologically appropriate alternative needed to upgrade a system as close as is reasonable to Appendix 75-A will be eligible.
- A Septic System Project located in Nassau or Suffolk counties must reduce nitrogen levels by at least 30 percent.
d. Eligible Costs –
i. To be eligible for reimbursement, incurred costs must be reasonable and necessary for work done to a Septic System Project. This will be determined by the County Health Department or other authorized agent as identified above in 7(b) that such Septic System is failing or a Reasonably Likely to Fail System prior to any repairs, or such system has received a Notice of Violation or Notice of Failure prior to any repairs.
- Design and installation costs, and costs of the system, system components, or enhanced treatment technologies.
- Design costs are eligible, limited only to work needed to complete an approved design, including needed site investigation, as-built drawings, and inspections.
e. Ineligible Costs – the following costs are ineligible for reimbursement:
- Routine maintenance such as a pump out of a septic tank.
- Any expenses that are not appropriately documented.
- Government permit fees, including but not limited to fees assessed for building permits, zoning permits, construction compliance certifications, and floodplain disturbance permits.
- Interest and late fees.
- Fines and penalties.
- Sales tax payment.
- Non-essential site beautification
- or interior plumbing changes.
- Administrative word conducted by the engineer.
- Construction observation by the engineer if the engineer, or an entity owned, controlled by or employing the engineer, is also conducting the repair or replacement.
8. Administrative and Reimbursement Process –
- The Participating County will notify eligible property owners (including residences and Small Businesses) of the availability of funds. Once notified, a property owner who undertakes a Septic System Project may apply to the county for funding.
- If the Septic System Project is selected for a grant, the Participating County will notify the property owner of the award, which may reimburse up to 50 percent of the eligible costs of a Septic System project, up to a maximum amount of $10,000 per project. Once the award letter is accepted, the property owner may proceed and hire a design professional and contractor to complete the work on the Septic System Project.
- Funding to the Participating Counties is on a reimbursement basis, therefore property owners are initially responsible for the total cost of their Septic System Projects. The property owner may choose to have the reimbursement paid directly to the contractor.
- To receive reimbursement, upon completion of the project a property owner will be required to submit a request for reimbursement to the county. The request must include:
- completed reimbursement request;
- description of all work completed;
- cost documentation and invoice(s) for eligible costs; and
- if applicable, a written authorization for a septic system contractor directly to receive the property owner’s reimbursement.
- The Participating County will then review the reimbursement request, approving, modifying or denying the request, as appropriate, and issue reimbursement payments to property owners or their contractors.
- EFC will provide guidance and a set of template documents to be used by Participating Counties, including a notification of property’s location in a Priority Geographic Area, an application form, an award letter, and reimbursement request form.