WOSSA Community Service
WOSSA as an association, our member companies and our individual members take great pride in giving back to the communities in which we live. These generous community service and outreach activities include: donations to numerous community organizations; community volunteer efforts; community leadership opportunities; donated resources such as labor, materials and equipment; consumer education programs; community, family and individual assistance programs; the WOSSA Member Scholarship Program, just to name a few. It is the goal of the Washington On-Site Sewage Association and its members to give back to our communities throughout the State in which we live.
As an association, WOSSA takes on several projects a year, brought to our attention by our members, assisting homeowners that have run into septic related issues and don’t have the resources available to resolve their particular situation. This program is for major repairs on existing septic systems and is considered by WOSSA on a case by case basis. Equipment, time and materials are donated by WOSSA members working in collaboration with the local health jurisdictions. This program often covers up to 95% of the cost of design, repairs and installation. It may also include some “sweat equity” by the person receiving the grant and in some cases may require enough funding to cover application fees for the review, installation and final inspections of the repaired system. What a Great way to give back to the communities in which we live.
WOSSA All Stars!
In May of 2012, WOSSA members joined together to design, install and bring back to code, a failed septic system located in Whatcom County for Donna, a grandmother, which just didn’t have the resources to get it repaired. Working together with the local health department, Washington Child Services and the Samish Indian Tribe, we successfully collaborated to complete the necessary repairs to the failed system.
The extraordinary part of this story wasn’t that WOSSA members undertook the project and helped repair the failed septic system, the wonderful outcome of this repair is that Donna was able to apply for and receive full custody of her 13 year old grandchild. The septic system repair allowed Donna to successfully pass a home study for the adoption of her grandson who was in an open dependency case with the state for more than 2-1/2 yrs. The repair of the failed septic system was the final obstacle to the completion of the adoption process. Congratulations Donna, we wish you and your family all the best.
As a WOSSA member, if you have a project that you would like to bring to the Association for consideration, contact the WOSSA office. Below, are other resources are available to homeowners that apply and qualify.
Community Outreach Assistance Programs
With over 40% of Washingtonians living on Decentralized Sewer (a kinder name for septic systems), members of WOSSA work and live in our local communities across the state. Connecting on the links here, will help you find support for your system and helpful information for homeowners for different resources from loans, grants and assistance programs to protect your system, investment and the environment.
When your system has failed, and you don’t have the money to get it repaired….what are the options?
There are a variety of programs that you may be able to access to get a failed system back up and running. Following is some information and links to get more information or apply.
EPA and State Revolving Funds
This is a program that is available in some counties. Depending on what county you live, there are generally two types of programs available. Grants or loans…..
Usually a grant from the LHJ (local health jurisdiction) does not have to be paid back, but it is most often used for system access “upgrades”. If you have a system that was installed before the current requirement of “access risers to grade”, then this is an option that should be considered. Many service providers charge to locate and dig up the tanks to get access for service. The difference is how much a homeowner is charged to move 3 yards of dirt vs. 4 screws.
Loans for homeowners that need repairs to failing systems or even major repairs are available in some LHJ’s. Usually they are income based, where the lower your income the lower the interest rate. Some loans are like car loans with simple interest and a 60 month payback. Other loans (Craft3) are set up to be like a lien against the mortgage and is not collected or paid on until the property is sold.
The form and terms of the loan vary, depending on where they are being sourced, but are intended to help solve the problem of the failing septic system and protect public health or the environment.
How can I get more information and apply?
Follow the links to get contact information and applications for the different programs.
USDA Section 504 Repair Program
Local Health Department Loan Programs
Follow the link and select your county... each of the LHJ site maps are a little different, but if you drill down to “Environmental Health” tabs, you will get there. You can find the contact number for the Health Department... ask for the “Septic Systems Program” leader and they’ll direct you.
Craft 3 – Non-Profit lending Institution (formerly Cascadia Enterprise)
For more information on the Craft 3 program contact:
Desiree Sideroff, VP Consumer Product Manager