The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is instituting a new Septic Upgrade Incentive Program to improve water quality and protect Florida’s springs. The incentive program encourages homeowners to enhance conventional septic systems by adding advanced features to reduce nitrogen pollution.
The Septic Upgrade Incentive Program is designed to offset homeowner costs for septic system upgrades by providing certified installers and licensed plumbers with up to $10,000 after the installation of enhanced nitrogen-reducing features to existing septic systems located in targeted areas within eligible counties. Designated areas are identified and delineated by the DEP as Priority Focus Areas in Citrus, Hernando, Leon, Marion, Orange, Pasco, Seminole, Volusia and Wakulla counties.
“We encourage homeowners in these Priority Focus Areas to take advantage of this new Septic Upgrade Incentive Program,” said Trina Vielhauer, director of the DEP’s Division of Water Restoration Assistance. “Every homeowner who does their part to upgrade a septic system brings us one step closer to our goal of significantly lowering nutrients in Florida’s springs.”
Eligible enhancements include retrofitting septic tanks with advanced pre-treatment, recirculating aerobic treatment units, or replacing traditional septic tanks with upgraded nutrient-reducing technology. The incentives are available for payment directly to septic system installers and licensed plumbers retained by homeowners to update existing systems and must be pre-approved by the department prior to the commencement of work.
Since 2011, Gov. Rick Scott has invested more than $450 million in Florida’s springs – the highest amount of funding for springs under any governor in Florida history. In addition, the DEP has submitted a plan to the Florida Legislature to invest $50 million in springs restoration from this year’s budget. When leveraged with funding from local partners, this plan proposes a total investment of nearly $86 million during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
For additional information about the Septic Upgrade Incentive Program, visit www.floridadep.gov/springs/restoration-funding/content/septic-upgrade-incentive-program or call toll-free 1-866-601-6910.