The Huron County Clean Water Project is gearing up to tackle another source of water pollution: septic systems.
People living in the countryside and hamlets – including homes and cottages along Lake Huron – have septic systems to treat household waste from kitchens and bathrooms. When functioning properly, septic systems are a cost-effective, efficient method of treating waste. But they have a lifespan and faulty septic systems are a daily source of contamination.
“Failed septic systems are demonstrated point sources of nutrient loadings, infectious agents, residual medication and domestic products that can have a chronic negative effect on watercourses in Huron County,” said Doug Hocking of Maitland Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) . “All septic tile beds eventually require replacement.”
The Huron Clean Water Project (HCWP) is allocating a total of $40,000 to the septic system upgrade category in 2019 with a maximum grant of $2,000 per project. Systems that have the potential to contaminate drinking water and those near municipal drinking water wells are the main focus. Residences west of Hwy 21 are also a high priority because of their potential impact on swimming beaches.
The grant approval process is similar to other HCWP projects. Staff will help landowners complete the application form which is evaluated by the grant review committee. Applicants will need a cost estimate from a licensed contractor in order to apply. When the project is approved, completed and paid for, staff do a final site visit and the grant is issued.
The first application deadline is May 31 and the second intake period ends Aug. 31.
The HCWP has 17 project categories to help people improve and protect water quality. The county program has provided grants to more than 2,800 projects since 2004.
People interested in applying are invited to call Doug Hocking at MVCA, 519 335-3557 Ext. 236 or Kate Monk at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, 519 235-2610 Ext. 227.