CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — To avoid future pollution issues in the North Country, funding is now available for certain septic system replacement projects in Jefferson County.

The Jefferson County Planning Department has announced that the New York State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation has opened the Second Round of the State Septic Replacement Fund Program. This program provides funds to repair or replace failing systems, or those considered “substandard,” located near targeted waterbodies.

According to the Planning Department, in Jefferson County, the purpose of this fund is to replace existing cesspools and septic systems that have significant and quantifiable impacts environmental or public health impacts to groundwater drinking sources, or a threatened waterbody.

In Jefferson County, priority areas that were identified in the first round of this program include Moon Lake, Red Lake, Indian River. Areas identified in round two continue to include Moon Lake, but also added the St. Lawrence River and Guffin Bay.

Property owners who have substandard septic systems located within 250 feet of these water bodies are encouraged to apply. Residents at year-round homes, seasonal homes, and rental properties are all eligible for this program.

For each project, the county is limiting its maximum award to a 50% reimbursement, up to a maximum of $50,000 per system. Selection priority may be determined by the condition of the existing septic system, potential impacts to the nearby water body, and the design of the proposed system.

Grant recipients will have one year to complete the work and seek reimbursement. Work completed prior to a signed award agreement is not eligible.

The Jefferson County Planning Department will accept completed applications for this program through September 30, 2021. County staff will review and rank applications to determine eligibility. Applications that are not selected will remain on a waiting list and be considered for future selection.

Applications and additional information are on the County’s Planning Department’s webpage.