Subsurface Wastewater Team
The Division receives many inquiries regarding funding for septic system installations. Aside from lending institutions, there are limited sources of funding. These are the ones of which the Division is aware.
- The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (1-800-452-1942) offers
several community-based loans and grants, notably the Small Community Grant
Program to towns "...to help replace malfunctioning septic systems that are
polluting a waterbody or causing a public nuisance". This program is
administered by the municipalities, so you should contact your Code Enforcement Officer.
- The Maine State Housing Authority offers a home repair program for low income
households, at (207) 626-4600 or 1-800-452-4668.
- The United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development has a program
for “Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loans and Grants”.
- By statute (30-A MRS, ss 3428(4)(B)), a municipality may install a system on a
site and recover the costs through a special tax assessment. This law says that:
"If the nuisance is not abated within the 10-day period or such period up to but not exceeding the additional 20 days as allowed by the municipal officers … the municipal officers or their agents may enter the premises and have the malfunction adequately remedied. To recover any actual and direct expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees if the municipality is the prevailing party, incurred by the municipality in the abatement of such nuisances, the municipality shall:
A. File a civil action against the owner. The costs, including reasonable attorney fees, to create and prosecute an action to collect expenses following such a civil complaint, shall also be recovered from the owners; or
B. Assess a special tax against the land on which the waste water disposal unit is located for the amount of the expenses. This amount shall be included in the next annual warrant to the tax collector of the municipality for collection in the same manner as other state, county and municipal taxes are collected. Interest as determined by the municipality pursuant to Title 36, section 505, in the year in which the special tax is assessed, shall accrue on all unpaid balances of any special tax beginning on the 60th day after the day of commitment of the special tax to the collector. The interest shall be added to and become part of the tax."
From the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association's web site: "EPA has recently published a list of funding opportunities from various sources. Roughly $167 million in funding opportunities can be identified by visiting here."