Barnstable County Launches Low-Interest Septic Loan Program

HYANNIS – Barnstable County has launched its AquiFund expansion to its septic system loan program to help protect sensitive watershed areas.

The initiative provides financial assistance to those who need to upgrade to new Innovative/Alternative wastewater systems or hook up to local sewer, according County Senior Environmental Specialist Brian Baumgaertel at this week’s Barnstable County Commissioners meeting.

He added that the initiative is vital as the Cape’s water quality continues to decline. 

“We all are very familiar with what’s going on in our embayments and ponds—the algae blooms that we are seeing. The point of the changes is to really target as much of this funding towards those particular projects as possible,” said Baumgaertel. 

Interest rates are based on income, with households earning below $100,500 qualifying for 0% interest betterment loans, those earning less than $150,5000 qualifying for 2% interest, and 4% for all other projects.

“There’ll be some additional qualifiers that go with the income brackets, of course. First and foremost is being in those watershed areas. And at least at the outset, we’ll be targeting single-family homes—primary residents that are year-round occupied. As we get our feet under it, maybe we think about expanding.”

The expansion launches as changes are proposed to Title 5 septic regulations by the state that could force those living by at-risk water resources to upgrade their septic unless their local town shows it is working on nitrogen pollution solutions.

More on AquiFund, including how to apply, can be found on the county’s website here. Brochures will also be available at local health departments. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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