The Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) knew that local residents were facing grave problems with repairing failing septic systems. The Commission turned to the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (CWRLF) for a solution to this pressing problem. The MPPDC secured a $200,000 loan from the CWRLF to support the Regional On-site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Funding Program. This Program was established in 1997 to improve water quality and address public health concerns in the York, Rappahannock and Lower Small Coastal Watersheds. This Program also supports the Commonwealth's Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.
The benefits of repairing failed septic systems include more than just water quality. These repairs can dramatically improve the quality of life for each of the affected homeowners and also impact the health, safety and welfare of the entire community. These far-ranging benefits include:
- Reducing dysentery and hepatitis spread by septic waste
- Eliminating a large breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies that can spread disease
- Decreasing chemical or nutrient poisoning as a result of untreated water traveling through the soil to wells or on the surface to lakes, streams or ponds
Since 1999, Amendments to Virginia's On-site Sewage Disposal Regulations have significantly increased the cost of system repairs. This new loan from the CWRLF allows the program to continue and will potentially assist another 20 - 40 homeowners, with a particular benefit to low-income homeowners who would be otherwise incapable of complying with Health Department requirements to repair their septic systems.