Homeowners in Columbiana County will be eligible to receive financial assistance in repairing or replacing failing septic systems through a $190,000 principal forgiveness loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) to the Columbiana County Health Department.
The loan comes from the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) and is part of the Ohio EPA’s Home Sewage Treatment System Repair and Replacement program. It will help the Ohio EPA and local health department address water quality and health concerns triggered by sewage discharges into area waterways, including Little Beaver Creek. Residents will be able to receive 100 percent, 85 percent or 50 percent in principal forgiveness for their repair costs, depending on their household income levels. In funding these repairs through the WPCLF, Columbiana County stands to save more than $250,000 when compared to market-rate loans.
The WPCLF was created in 1989 and allows communities to improve their wastewater infrastructure by providing low-interest loans. The WPCLF has over the years also funded projects to institute agricultural best management practices, close landfills and implement projects to address water quality through storm water intervention.
The fund is supported through federal grants and through repayments of previous loans, as well as investments in bonds. Self-sustaining, it is administered by the Ohio EPA Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance and the Ohio Water Development Authority.