Failing septic systems contribute to contaminating ground water wells, streams and rivers with high levels of bacteria and viruses that can cause severe illnesses in individuals and can also lead to outbreaks of Hepatitis A, “Crypto”, typhoid fever, Giardia, E. coli, Salmonella, Encephalitis, etc.  Sewage surfacing on the ground, corroded or collapsed tanks, tanks that discharge to a creek or a ditch, broken aerators, tanks that fill up with rainwater, and more are all considered failing systems.

If your system is failing, you may qualify for grant monies that are available through our Water Pollution Control Fund (WPCF). This fund could potentially cover 100% of your system!

WPCF Requirements:

  • The home must be owner-occupied
  • The septic system must be failing (i.e. broken, sewage surfacing or going to tile without treatment)
  • You must meet the income guidelines

How to Apply

  1. Pick up a Homeowner Application at Marion Public Health, or download one here, and return it promptly to Marion Public Health.
  2. After Marion Public Health reviews your application, you will be contacted to have your income verified with Regional Planning (located at 222 W Center St., Marion, Ohio). Download the income verification form here.
  3. If you are determined to meet the guidelines, MPH will contract to have a soils scientist come out to do a soils test. A sanitarian will visit the site (sanitarian will have ID and vehicle with logo). We will then obtain 3 installer contractor bids, at which point you may see a contractor at your property. MPH sends the recommended installer bid to the EPA for approval in groups of 3-4 properties.
  4. MPH notifies the homeowner of their cost share, if any, based on your previously determined income eligibility.
  5. System is installed when all bids in group are awarded, homeowner cost share is received, and weather is permitting.

This grant is first come, first serve, and is available until monies run out.

How do I know if my septic system is failing?

  • If the aerator motor(spins to introduce air and mixing) is missing or does not come on. If you have an onlot leach field or filter bed, the field can become plugged due to the stronger waste stream, reducing the life of your system. If you discharge to a tile, you are discharging untreated sewage to the creek, ditch, stream or river. You and your neighbor’s drinking water wells and groundwater can become contaminated.
  • Not pumping the tank at least every 3-5 years can plug up the outlet tile. You may see sewage surfacing in the yard.
  • Lush green grass around the tank may indicate a crack in the tank or seal allowing sewage to seep out before the leach field where dispersal and treatment occurs. All tanks should be watertight.
  • The drains inside your house drain slowly or not at all(could also be a plug in the waste line).
  • Have your system inspected. See the list of registered service providers below.