October 20, 2010
Summit County offers assistance for septic repairs, hookups

As noted in the Akron Beacon Journal article quoted below, Summit County has procured some federal funds targeted toward assisting residents in repairing failing septic systems -- or hooking up to existing sanitary sewer lines.

Kate Lanza, of the Water Quality Program at the Summit County Health District, explains:

I have attached a recent article regarding available funding for failing septic systems and sewer connections. Summit County recently received some funding to fix failing septic systems and/or connect homes to sewer (where it is available). There are some income guidelines that need to be met to qualify for the available funds. In order to see if a homeowner would qualify for the program, they need to contact Holly Miller of the [Summit County] Department of Community and Economic Development at 330-643-8013 or [by email] at hmiller@summitoh.net.

U.S. funds could solve septic woes

Summit County will use $824,500 in federal Community Development Block Grant money next year to fund projects ranging from fixing faulty septic systems to urban gardening.

County Council is expected to vote Monday on the 2011 community development block grant plan.

The biggest chunk of money $280,250 is being set aside to help repair and replace septic systems.

Dedicating community development money for the effort is new this year and stems from the Environmental Protection Agency pushing local health officials to review systems and condemn them if they aren't working properly, said Connie Krauss, county community and economic development director.

"In many cases, it's something people can't afford to do," she said. "We thought that should be a priority for us this year."

There are about 32,000 septic systems in the county, and it costs an average of $5,000 to $8,000 to replace one, officials said.

Systems don't last forever, especially if they aren't maintained.

"You're going to have septic systems failing," said Ryan Pruett, supervisor of water quality programs for the Summit County Health District. "It's just a fact of life."

The health district will refer cases to the county for financial help.