Residents in targeted areas of Gloucester, Middlesex and Mathews Counties are now eligible for grant funds to help pay for septic tank repairs, inspections, replacement and more as part of an effort to help address bacteria pollution in nearby waters.

The funds, provided by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and administered by the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, are part of a project to address bacteria pollution that’s led to reductions in shellfish harvesting in the Piankatank River, around Gwynn’s Island and the Milford Haven watershed area.

The upper Piankatank River watershed is located between the Rappahannock and York Rivers in Gloucester and Mathews Counties. The lower Piankatank River watershed touches Mathews and Middlesex Counties, with Gwynn’s Island and Milford Haven located in Mathews County.

Grant funds are available to cover 50% of the costs for the following:

  • Septic tank pumpouts
  • Conventional septic system repairs
  • Conventional septic system inspections and maintenance
  • Conventional septic system installation to replace a failing system (or a system no longer in compliance)
  • Alternative septic system installation to replace failing conventional systems or malfunctioning alternative systems

There are no income requirements to qualify for the grant funds for those who live in the described targeted areas.

The Environmental Protection Agency has called improperly maintained and failing septic systems as one of the top five pollutants for water quality, which can cause toxic nutrient releases that can harm humans and wildlife.

“For many homeowners in our community, a septic system can be the most expensive thing they own, next to their home itself,” said Lewie Lawrence, Executive Director of the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission. “Being able to bring these grant funds to our community is an important step in supporting residents while also contributing to the health, welfare and safety of our entire community.”

To learn more about these grant opportunities, or to find out if your property is eligible for the funds, contact the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission at 804-758-2311 or by visiting

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) under grant agreement 17066 to the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA or DEQ, nor does the EPA or DEQ endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.

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