Governor McAuliffe has proclaimed September 18-22 to be SepticSmart Week throughout Virginia. https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/proclamations/proclamation/2017-septicsmart-week/. Proper septic system use and routine care are vital to protecting public health, preserving our groundwater, lakes, streams and waterways, and avoiding costly repairs that can result from neglect.
The Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District thought this would be an appropriate time to announce our pilot “Septic Tank Pump-Out Rebate Program”. The program will provide a $50 rebate to Loudoun landowners towards the pump-out of their septic system. A limited number of rebates are available. The landowner must have an approved application form from the District, and the pump-out must be reported to Loudoun County Health Department by an approved hauler, before the rebate can be issued. Septic pump-outs prior to September 21, 2017 are not eligible.
The funds used to start this pilot project come from the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program, or “VCAP”. VCAP is a program of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts which allows non-agricultural landowners the chance to receive cost share funds to install conservation practices.
For decades, Loudoun farmers have been able to take advantage of the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost Share Program to help protect soil and water resources, and now with VCAP, suburban, urban, and other residential and business property owners are able to install practices such as rainwater harvesting, conservation landscaping, and a host of other initiatives.
Through fiscal year 2017, ten VCAP practices have been signed up which have included meadow plantings, tree plantings, rainwater harvesting systems, and a vegetated stormwater swale. The project sites have included homeowners’ lawns, as well as HOA open space parcels, and a school property.
Districts that participate in VCAP, earn $500 in technical assistance money per VCAP practice completed. The funds can be used at the District’s discretion. The Loudoun SWCD Board felt strongly about using these funds to put more money for conservation into the community. At a recent District Board meeting, the Board voted to use these funds to assist in the launch of a local septic tank pump-out project. Loudoun SWCD is appreciative of being able to make those VCAP dollars go even further for conservation on the ground in Loudoun County.