H2Ozarks’ septic programs offered to area residents | Local News

Area homeowners with a failing septic system may qualify for 100% reimbursement on repairs. 

H2Ozarks is a nonprofit organization, located in Kimberling City, which aims to protect Ozark lakes and watersheds using grant money from the state to reimburse qualified homeowners for work done to repair their septic systems. Assistance is available for eligible homeowners around area watersheds.

There are three common causes of septic system failure which the H2Ozarks’ programs can address; aging infrastructure, inappropriate design, and poor septic maintenance. 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency website, there are several human and environmental impacts a failing septic system can have. 

“Household wastewater contains disease-causing bacteria, viruses and high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. If a septic system is well-maintained and working properly, it will remove most of these pollutants,” states the website. “Insufficiently treated sewage from septic systems can cause groundwater contamination, which can spread disease in humans and animals. Improperly treated sewage poses the risk of contaminating nearby surface waters, and potentially cause various infectious diseases in swimmers, from eye and ear infections to acute gastrointestinal illness and hepatitis. More than four billion gallons of wastewater are dispersed below the ground’s surface every day. Groundwater contaminated by poorly or untreated household wastewater poses dangers to drinking water and to the environment. Malfunctioning septic systems release bacteria, viruses, and chemicals toxic to local waterways. When these pollutants are released into the ground, they eventually enter streams, rivers, lakes, and more, harming local ecosystems by killing native plants, fish, and shellfish.”

According to the H2Ozarks website, the organization participates in multiple septic programs including: Table Rock Lake, Crane Creek and lower James River septic remediation, septic tank pump out rebates, free septic pump-outs for low income households, and septic tank grant and loan programs.

Financial assistance is now available for septic remediation in select watersheds around Table Rock Lake.

Eligibility criteria are listed as follows:

– Single-family, residential homes.

– Annual household income less than $61,000.

– Must have an existing septic system, new builds no not qualify.

– Home must be located in a priority watershed.

– Homeowner must have proof of a failing septic system.

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