“It’s really about helping folks out,” said Simone Madsen, who works for the council. “It’s a win-win. Some of these repairs and improvements can cost thousands of dollars. By helping landowners reduce the cost of septic repairs, we see real improvements in local water quality.
“It’s a completely voluntary program, and all repairs are done with consideration to private property rights. All you have to do is call and ask if you are eligible.”
Additionally, agricultural landowners wanting to implement best management practices to improve water quality are also eligible for assistance.
“We’ve had good success on local farms,” said Madsen. “Several farmers have received new fencing, pipeline, and cattle waterers.”
Other examples of BMPs include heavy-use area protection for feeding areas and stream crossings or travel lanes for livestock.
Funding is provided by a Clean Water Act grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and administered by the Southeast Tennessee Resource Conservation and Development Council, a local, community-based nonprofit organization.
These projects are funded, in part, under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Nonpoint Source Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Assistance Agreement No. C9994674-11-0.
For more information and to see if you are eligible, contact Simone Madsen at 423-322-4405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.