OSSF COST-PROGRAM SHARE FAQ


Who is eligible to receive cost share funds?
Any property owner in Hamilton County with a failing sewage system can apply.  The amount of assistance will be based on several factors such as the proximity of a failing system to a river, stream or tributary, level of failure, etc.  We encourage all property owners with an OSSF to schedule a site visit with the Hamilton County Environmental Inspector in order to determine your eligibility for this program.


How do I see if I qualify for this program?
Contact the Hamilton County Environmental Inspector and request a visit to your property.  An evaluation of your OSSF will be performed and your eligibility to receive cost share funds will be based on the information collected during the site visit.


I do not know if my OSSF is working satisfactory or not.  Should I still look into this program?
Yes. We encourage all Hamilton County property owners with an OSSF to request an evaluation of your existing system.


If my OSSF is failing, will it be reported to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)?
No. The goal of this program is to provide cost share funds to eligible homeowners to repair or replace failing sewage facilities which may be releasing bacteria into our local watersheds; NOT to identify failing systems for fines and enforcement purposes.


Does this program require that I hire specific contractors (installers, site evaluators, designers, etc.)?
No. The only requirement is that all contractors hired to repair or replace a failing sewage facility must be licensed to perform the work.


Will this program pay for all of my costs in replacing my sewage system?
Probably not.  This program will pay up to 50% of the costs associated with repairing or replacing a system up to a $4000 maximum.  The remaining balance will be the responsibility of the homeowner.


Is a new septic system the only solution to correct a failing system?
Not always. Sometimes failures are due to excessive hydraulic loading, like a dripping faucet, stuck toilet or even surface water leaking into a tank or saturating a drain field area. These problems can sometimes be easily fixed by a plumber or by diverting surface water away from the septic system using terraces, landscaping or even by adding gutters to a roof.


What information would I have to provide to the inspector for a site visit?
Name, address, phone number, property ID number, any information concerning your septic system, water records (as much as possible), when is a good time to contact you and anything else that you might think is important.


Will the information obtained through an evaluation of my septic system be kept confidential?
Yes. The site evaluation documents will identify your property using a Drivers License number, partial Social Security number or some other identification number. This identification number must be removed by law before being available for viewing by the general public or any other person or governmental entity. Removing these identification numbers makes it impossible for any evaluation report to be matched to any particular property owner or location.


Does this program cost the Hamilton County taxpayer money?
No. This program is 100% funded through a grant from the U.S. EPA and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. Although all program expenses are paid by Hamilton County, these expenses are reimbursable and will not be a burden on local taxpayers.