Oregon offers $2 million in loans to fix failing septic systems

Oregon offers $ 2 million low interest loans to homeowners and small businesses to repair or replace failed sewage treatment plants.

Failed treatment plants can cause wastewater to surface or enter waterways, putting public health at risk and damaging natural resources.

Oregon lawmakers launched the loan program in 2016, but funding expired in June 2020. Legislators approved the new funding earlier this year.

“By helping those who are struggling to repair failing wastewater treatment plants, we can not only prevent damage to homes and property, but also improve public health outcomes for all Oregonians,” said Ken Helm, D-Beaverton, Oregon Representative, in a press release.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has partnered with nonprofit lender Craft3 to manage the loans. It has just reopened loan applications.

DEQ estimates that of Oregon’s 450,000 wastewater treatment plants, 10-20% fail each year.

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The loans cover all eligible costs for approval, planning and installation and also provide ongoing maintenance if necessary. The loans have variable low interest rates based on the income of the borrowers and are accessible to borrowers who may not have perfect creditworthiness.

They are available to homeowners and small businesses that use sewage treatment plants, such as restaurants, grocery stores, and small prefabricated houses or RV parks.

Before the program was paused, it made more than $ 3.6 million in loans to 187 Oregon residents and small businesses to upgrade or install sewage treatment plants.

Loan beneficiaries were in 92 cities and 28 of Oregon’s 36 counties.

To learn more about the program or to apply, visit Craft3.org/CleanWaterOre.

Tracy Löw is a reporter for the Statesman Journal. She can be reached at [email protected], 503-399-6779 or on Twitter at @Tracy_Loew. Support local journalism by subscribing to the Statesman Journal.

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