INDIANAPOLIS-- If your septic tank or well is damaged as a result of the storms and floods that began in May 30 that deluged Indiana, you may be eligible for financial assistance to repair or replace your well or septic system from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
For homeowners in any of the 37 counties designated as a federal disaster area, a disaster-assistance home-repair grant program covers wells and septic system damage.
Those eligible may receive funds to pump septic tanks, perform required repairs, or even replace the system. Damaged private wells that are the sole source of water for the house also may be repaired or decontaminated with grant funds.
You must register for disaster assistance with FEMA to be eligible for this grant that does not have to be paid back.
"We don't want anyone living in a house with contaminated water or exposed to raw sewage," said FEMA federal coordinating officer Michael Smith. "If you have applied for state and federal disaster assistance you should advise the FEMA inspector that you have a private well and septic system."
This grant is intended to help return homes to livable conditions. To qualify for a limited home-repair grant, you must first register for assistance with FEMA, own the home, and the home must be your primary residence. Grants are not intended to restore a home to pre-disaster condition.
Federal and state officials urge homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began May 30, 2008, to apply for disaster assistance immediately by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. For those with hearing or speech impairments call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Registration lines and on-line registration at www.fema.gov are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.
All residents are encouraged to get involved with the recovery by helping spread the word about available assistance. Tell your neighbor.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.