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If you live in a specific area of Lexington County, free help for problematic septic systems could b

Lexington County, SC (Paul Kirby) – If you live in a specific area of Lexington County called the Congaree Creek Watershed and are having problems with your septic system, help may be available to repair or even replace that old stinker right now! The funding comes through Lexington County and it’s not as hard to get as some might think.

Think you don’t live in this area called the Congaree Creek Watershed; you may want to check out the attached map. This is a huge hunk of the south and eastern portion of Lexington County that includes some well-known areas. Communities like Red Bank, lots of Oak Grove, some parts of West Columbia and Cayce, all of Springdale, South Congaree, Pine Ridge, and even a portion of Gaston are actually included. Of course, all the areas that connect or surround these communities are also in the watershed.

These are areas that have ground and surface water that eventually feeds into Congaree Creek, often by way of another stream, creek, lake, or pond. Because of this flow of water toward the creek, believe it or not, that water can eventually make its way into the Congaree River. That’s why the government is so concerned about the quality of water that makes its way down stream. To help keep the water quality high, you may be eligible for one of these grants that can save you thousands and help with clean water too!

How do you know if you have a problem with your old septic system? If it’s been ignored long enough, certainly the nose knows. If you smell the odor of what goes down your drains and toilet when you walk out into the yard, you or someone close by is probably having a problem. If it’s not your system, be a good neighbor and show the folks next door this story.

There is an official list provided by Lexington County that’s a little better than walking around the neighborhood sniffing everyone’s yard. According to the county, if you are having any of the following problems, your septic system may need to be repaired:

  1. Your toilet is gurgling

  2. Water is backing up into your drains

  3. Your sinks and toilets drain slowly

  4. There are damp spots in your yard during dry weather

  5. Areas of your yard have lush grass; or

  6. You smell sewage (AKA STINK!)

There are funds available to help pay for approved septic repairs/replacements for failing systems in the Congaree Creek Watershed. Remember, this isn’t just to make your neighbors take the clothes pins off their noses or so you can let the kids play in the back yard again, it’s also to improve water quality for everyone.

There’s a nifty link on the County of Lexington’s Facebook page that will let you put in your address to see if you are in the grant area. Lexington County really is trying to be helpful so they’ve made that available and easy to use. This is that link if you wanted to check your address now: CONGAREE CREEK WATERSHED

Now that you’ve checked and found out you do live in the grant area and are having septic systems issues, just fill out the application at the link (Congaree Creek 319 Phase II Application) and email that to: gprice@lex-co.com. It’s on the county’s social media page if you want to check there too. You might as well like and follow that page while you’re there so you can keep up with all the great info they provide.

The county is so helpful, they’ve even provided a list of licensed septic tank contractors that work in Lexington County. This is a link to that. (Septic Tank Contractors in Lexington County)

This project is funded in part by the US government’s Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319. The grants come through SC DHEC. Please, for everyone sake, check the list, use the links, and get that old stinker fixed if there’s an issue.

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