Like other towns in Suffolk County, Southampton’s waterways have been negatively affected by excess nitrogen from a number of unnatural sources. Old and outdated septic systems contribute to the problem, but upgrading to a new wastewater treatment system isn’t without its share of challenges.
To help preserve Southampton’s water resources and begin to make a dent in the harm that has been done to our natural environment, the Town of Southampton has implemented a Septic Rebate Program.
The Southampton Septic Rebate Program helps cover the cost of upgrading an outdated septic system to an innovative and alternative on-site wastewater treatment system, also known as I/A OWTS.
An I/A OWTS system helps process nitrogen before it has a chance to make its way into groundwater. Excess nitrogen from outdated septic systems and cesspools contributes to harmful algae blooms that drastically reduce available oxygen in the water. The lack of oxygen then contributes to fish and shellfish illness and death.
By upgrading to a new and advanced septic system, you are doing your part to protect Southampton’s water resources. Here’s what you need to know about the rebate program.
Who is Eligible for the Program?
Any property owner located in a Medium or High Priority Area of the Water Quality Improvement Project is eligible for the Septic Rebate program.
You can check your property here to see if you are eligible.
To be eligible for the program, you must have an adjusted gross income of less than $1 million.
How Much is the Rebate?
The program offers a maximum rebate of $20,000. If you are eligible, the amount you receive will depend on three main factors:
- Your total eligible costs
- Your adjusted gross income, or AGI
- Whether you’ve received other grants
Here’s how your AGI affects your rebate:
- If your AGI is $500,000-$999,999, you may receive 25% of eligible costs.
- If your AGI is $300,000-$499,999, you may receive 50% of eligible costs (maximum $20,000).
- If your AGI is $300,000 or below, you may receive 100% of eligible costs (maximum $20,000).
The rebate is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
What Costs are Covered by the Rebate?
The rebate can be used to cover the following eligible costs:
- The removal of your old system
- The cost of designing and installing the new system
- Restoring your property after the installation
- Costs for a 3-year maintenance contract
What Costs are Excluded from the Rebate?
The rebate cannot be used for:
- Costs that are covered by other grants
- Expediting fees
- New paving, landscaping or fencing that is not associated with restoring your property
How Do You Apply for the Rebate?
The first step to claiming your rebate is to submit an application before any work starts. Other paperwork will also need to be submitted, including your tax return.
Once the application is approved, the new system must be installed within 12 months. You will need to obtain all of the necessary approvals for the system, including (but not limited to) the Town of Southampton Environment Division.
Several documents must be submitted to the Town Building Department and the Town Community Preservation Department after installing the system.
Rebates are paid after the work is completed, and it can take 4-6 weeks to receive your funds after the paperwork is submitted.
Southampton’s Septic Rebate program gives the incentive to upgrade outdated septic systems and cesspools. If you live in an eligible area, you may be able to install your new system at little to no cost to you.
If you’d like to learn more about your eligibility and how the process works, you can schedule a free, zero obligation consultation with Bridgewater Environmental.