EPA’s PISCES — or Performance and Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success — celebrates excellence and innovation in clean water infrastructure.
The EPA selected our Regional On-Site Sewage System Loan Program as one of five exceptional projects across the country. Our program is a public-private partnership that provides funding for Puget Sound property owners to repair or replace failing septic systems.
“This program has been a great success due to the incredible partnership and collaboration between state agencies, local health jurisdictions, county governments, and Craft3. We all worked together to build a sustainable and efficient solution to help protect public health and water quality while giving homeowners viable financing options.”
- Jeff Nejedly, Ecology financial assistance
In addition to the PISCES Award, the Regional Loan Program was honored with the “Creative Solutions” award last week at the Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council (IACC) conference in Wenatchee. The conference gathers communities, infrastructure providers, and funders. IACC aims to improve infrastructure assistance in Washington. The annual awards ceremony celebrates outstanding achievements in public works projects across the state.
269 septic systems fixed during the first year of our programOur program was incredibly successful in it's first year. It prevented 36 million gallons — equal to 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools — of wastewater from flowing into Puget Sound watershed. It also brought $6.7 million into local communities to repair and maintain septic systems.
The Regional Loan Program attempts to lessen that burden — providing affordable financing for septic repair and replacement to homeowners at many different income levels. Roughly 40% of participants in the last year were low-income borrowers.
We help protect public health and water qualityThe program uses public funds in a cost-effective way to:
- Reduce sources of water pollution.
- Improve and protect shellfish areas and ecosystems.
- Improve local governments’ ability to focus on water quality priorities.
- Increase opportunities for property owners unable to qualify for traditional loans.
Septic systems are only one piece of the clean water puzzle. There are many sources of pollution — such as stormwater runoff, excess nutrients from farms, lawns, and people, agriculture practices, and wastewater treatment facilities. Reducing all sources of water pollution is important to keep Washington waters and communities healthy.
Loan program helps counties provide better serviceOur program saves local governments time and money by taking counties out of the lending business. This allows homeowners the ability to go directly to a lender for financial help. By partnering with a non-profit lender like Craft3, counties can focus on providing technical assistance and working with septic professionals to raise awareness.
“Our old program just could not scale up to that kind of volume given our limited staff resources…referring people to Craft3 for septic funding assistance allows us to spend more time helping them with all the permitting details and the technical assistance.
It has been an incredible burden lifted off of me to know that so many more of our citizens-in-need are being helped with their septic repairs.” — Kathleen Parvin, Island County Public Health
Program expanding to Clark and Cowlitz countiesThe program currently covers the Olympic peninsula, coastal counties, and most counties around the Puget Sound. We and our partners are actively working to expand the availability of loans to more of the state.
In addition to the regional septic loan program, We have other funding and loan programs available for public entities like conservation districts and counties.
Other wastewater funding opportunities
These programs help individuals repair septic systems, and help communities build and repair larger systems. For example, a community could use these funds to connect a whole neighborhoods to a sewer system and abandon septic systems.
We also give funding to communities to help with pollution identification, outreach and education, planning, and surveys to identify problem areas.
Join this program or apply for a loanIf you are a homeowner with a failing or malfunctioning septic system and are interested in a loan, contact Craft 3 at CleanWater@Craft3.org or 888-231-2170 ext. 125.
If you are a local government interested in this program, contact our Local Loan Program Coordinator Rebecca Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-407-6703.
Learn more on our website.