Septic System Pilot Loan Program Takes Off!

Septic systems have a limited lifespan, even under the best of circumstances. (Image by EPA)

Septic systems have a limited lifespan, even under the best of circumstances. (Image by EPA)

Last fall, Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District began a pilot program to offer Residential Septic System Repair Loans to homeowners in the Clackamas River watershed for the repair or replacement of failed and failing septic systems. We are pleased to announce that, this spring, we have provided our first septic system loan to a Clackamas River Watershed homeowner!

Discovering that your septic system has failed is a miserable experience. Sadly,most septic systems will fail eventually because they are designed to have a useful life of 20 to 30 years under the best conditions. Older septic tanks with concrete or metal parts degrade over time. Eventually the soil in the drain field becomes clogged with organic material.

This was the scenario our landowner faced, with both their septic tank AND drain field failing after many years of use. Fortunately, we were there to help!

Why offer a septic repair and replacement program?

With almost 300,000 people receiving their drinking water from the Clackamas River, protecting water quality is important! This is why we are working together with our partners in the watershed to help landowners apply conservation practices to protect clean water, an essential resource.

One increasingly common source of water contamination is old septic systems that are wearing out or leaking. These failing systems become a public health and water quality concern, especially when the home is along a river or stream that serves as a source of public drinking water such as the Clackamas River. If the problem is bad enough, a family may have to vacate the home until the septic system is repaired or replaced.

The cost of septic system repair or replacement can be expensive and may not always be within a normal household budget. Our Residential Septic System Repair Loan Program allows us to assist homeowners in the Clackamas River watershed with the cost of these repairs that they may not otherwise be able to afford.

The District coordinates this loan program with funds provided by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. This is an exciting opportunity to help landowners protect water quality in the Clackamas River Watershed and address public health concerns.

Looking for Additional Information?

For technical assistance or questions about septic system permits, call Clackamas County Septic and Onsite Wastewater Systems at 503-742-4740.

For more details on our Septic System Loan program, visit our Residential Septic System Repair Loan Program web page or call us at 503-210-6000.

If you would like information regarding additional Septic System Financial Assistance for homeowners in the Clackamas River watershed, please contact our partners at Clackamas River Water Providers at 503-723-3510.

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