DEP Announces Septic Upgrade Incentive Program

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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,

 DEP Announces Septic Upgrade Incentive Program

~Septic Upgrade Incentive Program will help protect the environment by reducing excessive nutrients in Florida’s springs~

Cypress Springs in Orange County

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is announcing a Septic Upgrade Incentive Program to improve water quality and protect Florida's outstanding springs. The incentive program encourages homeowners to enhance conventional septic systems by adding advanced features to reduce nitrogen pollution.

This Septic Upgrade Incentive Program is designed to offset homeowner costs by providing certified installers and licensed plumbers with up to $10,000 after the installation of enhanced nitrogen-reducing features to existing septic systems located in targeted areas within eligible counties. This incentive effectively reduces the costs to the homeowner for the septic system upgrades. Designated areas are identified and delineated by DEP as Priority Focus Areas in Citrus, Hernando, Leon, Marion, Orange, Pasco, Seminole, Volusia and Wakulla counties. View the Priority Focus Area map to see if a home location is in an eligible area.

"We encourage homeowners in these Priority Focus Areas to take advantage of this new Septic Upgrade Incentive Program," said Trina Vielhauer, director of DEP's Division of Water Restoration Assistance. "Every homeowner who does their part to upgrade a septic system brings us one step closer to our goal of significantly lowering nutrients in Florida's springs."

Eligible enhancements include retrofitting septic tanks with advanced pre-treatment, recirculating aerobic treatment units, or replacing traditional septic tanks with upgraded nutrient-reducing technology. Visit the Florida Department of Health's webpage for more information about onsite treatment and disposal systems.

The incentives are available for payment directly to septic system installers and licensed plumbers retained by homeowners to update existing systems, and must be pre-approved by the department prior to the commencement of work. 

Septic system installers and licensed plumbers can find complete instructions regarding how to participate, as well as the application for reimbursement by visiting the Septic Upgrade Incentive Program webpage or calling toll-free 1-866-601-6910.

Since 2011, Governor Rick Scott has invested more than $450 million in Florida’s springs – the highest amount of funding for springs under any Governor in Florida history. In addition, DEP has submitted a plan to the Florida Legislature to invest $50 million in springs restoration from this year’s budget. When leveraged with funding from local partners, this plan proposes a total investment of nearly $86 million during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Learn more about the importance of Florida's springs.