Knapps Creek Septic Program Launches

By Tim Walker

Do you live near Knapps Creek and worry about the condition of your septic system? Help is on the way! On April 9th at 6 PM at the Marlinton Municipal Building there will be an informational meeting where you can learn how you can receive financial help with repairing, replacing or even just pumping your septic system. This meeting is put on by the West Virginia Conservation Agency and the Pocahontas County Water Resources Task force.

Dennis Burns, a Conservation Specialist with the West Virginia Conservation Agency explains about the reasons why the Knapps Creek watershed was selected for this septic program.

“The stream (Knapps Creek) was listed as impaired for fecal coli form bacteria and one of the sources that it was listed for was failing septics,” says Dennis. “What we do is develop plans as to how we are going to alleviate these issues from the stream and then write grants to the U.S. EPA to fund different projects to help put these practices in place and one aspect of this is to pump periodically failing septic systems or repair or replace completely failing septic systems.”

Dennis explains where residents, businesses or farms located in the Knapps Creek watershed can file applications for assistance in pumping, repair or replacement of their failing septic systems.

“You can either come to my office in Lewisburg, it’s at 179 North Ridge Drive just behind the Shell station North of the interstate,” said Dennis. “If you want to come in here I can sign you up or you can go to the Pocahontas County Health Department, they have applications there, you can fill one out. You should here from us within a week.”

The program has already begun and applications will be accepted through about the middle of this coming August, so you don’t have to wait for the April 9th informational meeting to submit an application.

If all that is needed is to have a septic tank pumped out, the landowner will select a contractor septic company to do the work then pay the contractor’s entire bill. The program will then reimburse the landowner for half of the company’s charge. Dennis goes on to explain how the septic pumping portion of the program works.

“On just a standard pumping we will pay 50%, not to exceed a maximum of $200.00” explains Dennis. “If your bill is $400.00 we’ll pay $200.00 of it, if your bill is $100.00 we’re going to pay $50.00 of it. It is 50% of it, but we will not exceed $200.00.”
Where repair or replacement is needed the program will pay its portion of the cost directly to the contractor doing the work. The percentages also change for repairing or replacing septic systems.

“The landowner would have to contact three different contractors and get estimates on that.” Dennis says. “And then we’ll choose the contractor with the lowest bid and we’ll again go through the process to get a contract together and in that situation we will pay 75% up to $5000.00.”

Of course, that means the landowners will have to pay their 25% of the cost directly to the contractor.

Again, owners whose septic systems are located in the Knapps Creek watershed are eligible to apply for financial assistance from the Greenbrier Conservation District to have their septic systems pumped, repaired or if needed, replaced. Application can be made at the Pocahontas County Health Department or in Lewisburg at the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District office.

For more information, there will be an informational meeting on Thursday, April 9th at 6 PM in the Marlinton Municipal Building. You can also apply for the program at the informational meeting if you live in the Knapps Creek watershed area and have a failing septic system.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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