Funding Available for the Replacement of Septic Systems – Save The River! Thousand Islands

Jefferson County Planning Department press release 8/18/2021

Funding available to replace wastewater treatment plants near certain Jefferson County bodies of water

New York State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) has launched the second round of the State Septic Replacement Fund Program, which provides funding to repair or replace failing or substandard septic systems near target waters.

The purpose of this fund is to replace existing cesspools and sewage treatment plants that have significant and quantifiable effects on the environment and / or public health on groundwater used as drinking water or on a threatened or degraded body of water.

Jefferson County participates in the state’s program. Priority bodies of water identified for Round 1 included Moon Lake, Red Lake, and the Indian River, while Round 2 continues to include Moon Lake, but also adds Guffin Bay (Lake Ontario) and the St. Lawrence River. Property owners with inferior sewage treatment plants located within 75 m of these bodies of water are encouraged to apply for water quality improvement. In addition to year-round residences, seasonal houses and rental properties are also eligible for the program.

The government program allows each county to tailor its program to meet its specific objectives as long as it does not exceed the 50% maximum reimbursement of eligible costs and the US $ 10,000 ceiling per scheme. Jefferson County limits its maximum grant to a 50% refund up to a maximum of $ 5,000 per scheme due to limited funds and a large number of potentially eligible homeowners admitted to the second round waters.

The planning department will accept completed applications by September 30, 2021. The county staff will review and evaluate applications to determine those who meet the intent of the program. Selection priority can be determined by the state of the existing sewage treatment system, the potential impact on the affected water body, the design of the proposed system and the date of first contact with the district planning office. Applications that have not been selected for funding during this round will remain on a waiting list and will be considered for future selection as additional funding becomes available. The scholarship holders have one year to complete their work and apply for reimbursement. Any work completed prior to a signed pricing agreement is non-refundable.

You can find an application and further information on the website of the planning department at or by calling Sara Freda at (315) 785-3144.

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