St. Lawrence County legislators call for expansion of waterways eligible for septic upgrades | St. Lawrence County

CANTON — Lawmakers for the County of St. Lawrence unanimously passed a resolution during Monday’s operations committee meeting requiring all water bodies within the county to qualify for the septic tank repair and replacement program.

The program, administered by the state’s Environmental Facilities Corp. carried out aims to repair or replace defective sewage systems that may be spilling pollution into nearby bodies of water.

The program currently includes properties along the St. Lawrence River from the towns of Hammond, Morristown and Oswegatchie and the Raquette River from the village limits of Potsdam to its confluence with the St. Lawrence River. The town of Clifton on the Little River is also covered.

The resolution aims to make the Environmental Facilities Corp. persuade to include all water bodies in the county, such as Black Lake, Cranberry Lake and Rainbow Falls Reservoir.

“Water is usually the best real estate,” said Legislator David W. Forsythe, R-Lisbon, who sponsored the resolution. “I want to encourage everyone to support this.”

He said he’s had several calls from people in his district hoping more water will go into the program.

The program reimburses the cost of repaired or replaced septic systems along water bodies identified as threatened or at risk of effluent, or what is discharged from the system. The county will pay up to half of the cost of repair or replacement, up to a maximum of $10,000.

The septic tanks are typically required to be within 250 feet of the body of water, but there is no income limit to the program.

The program is administered by the North Country Housing Council. Interested parties can contact them and they will see if the sewage treatment plant is failing. If this is the case, the property owner is responsible for soliciting bids to pay for the work and once this is complete can submit receipts for reimbursement.

The North Country Housing Council can be reached at 315-386-8576.

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