Newly installed three chamber septic and pump tank (Photo by Amy Galford)
Some of the programs below are for a variety of home repairs, and one is only for on-lot wastewater systems. Income limits and other loan and grant terms change frequently, so check a program website or call the office for current information.
Before any major repairs, make sure you understand all the options and how to find qualified contractors.
For water supplies, consider pollution source removal, repairs to the existing system, water treatment, bottled water for drinking in the short term, and drilling a new well.
For septic systems, in addition to basic gravity septic systems and sand mounds, look into the variety of alternate on-lot wastewater technologies that have been approved by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) for use in the state, some of which are explained in On-Lot Wastewater Systems; The Basics. Check with your municipality's Sewage Enforcement Officer (SEO) about permits for repair work.
USDA Rural Development
Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants
This program is for health and safey upgrades to housing. There are location restrictions, but many areas of Pennsylvania have a low enough population density to qualify. There are income limits based on the location. Grants may be available for homeowners over 62. The program website has details, links to location and eligibility check tools, and a fact sheet sumarizing current loan terms.
Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST)
Homeowner Septic Loan Program
This program from PENNVEST, PHFA, and PA DEP provides low-interest loans for on-lot septic system repairs, replacement, or connection to public sewer. There are no income limits as of 1/20/2016. Visit the program site or call 1-855-827-3466 for full details.
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)
Keystone Renovate and Repair Loan Program
These loans are for a variety of improvements including private well and septic systems and also connecting to municipal water or sewer service. There are income range limits on this program and it is open to homeowners or current homebuyers. Visit the program site or call 1-800-822-1174 for more information.
Local funding sources
There may be other programs available in your county, borough, or township. Contact municipal offices or search for your local Housing and Redevelopment Authority.