VEE Septic Grant

James River Septic System Repair Cost Share Program

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is excited to announce that we have received $300,000 from the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE), with an additional $200,000 from the Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., for a total of $500,000.  These funds will be used to repair failing septic systems and remediate illicit sewage discharges (straight pipes) from homes in the Yarmouth Creek and Morris Creek watersheds in James City County, the Pagan River and Lawnes Creek watersheds in Isle of Wight County and the Lawnes Creek watershed in Surry County. VDH’s primary objective is to help homeowners in these watersheds bring their systems into current regulatory compliance, thereby reducing total nitrogen and fecal coliform loads from each system.

The grant provides homeowners with failing septic systems a financial incentive to upgrade to an advanced treatment system, also known as an Alternative Onsite Sewage System (AOSS) or connect to public sewer.  If eligible, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) can provide funding of 100 percent up to $18,000 for design services, construction costs, and equipment needed to install a regulatory compliant AOSS, including 50 percent nitrogen reduction.  VDH will base cost-share amounts on total household income level.

The grant period runs for no more than three years (January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021). During the first year of the grant, funding is available to homeowners in the four targeted watersheds with a household income of 200 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) and a failing septic systems.

For more information, please contact Charles Leonard at or by phone at (804) 316-3686.

Eligibility Guidelines

VDH will administer grant funds to homeowners on a cost-share basis.  Based on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2019 Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), grant funding will cover 100% up to $18,000 of the septic system repair costs. Homeowners are responsible for the remaining costs that the grant does not cover.  Homeowners must install regulatory compliant AOSS, including 50 percent nitrogen reduction, or connect to public sewer to receive grant funding.  Grant funding percentage is as follows:

Total Household Income     Maximum Grant Funding     Owner’s Responsibility

200% FPG or less                 100% up to $18,000              Costs exceeding $18,000

VDH will reimburse the homeowner for septic repair costs after system installation and approval. The owner must provide a cancelled check, cash receipt, credit card statement, or an invoice directly from the contractor and designer stating “Paid in Full” with the designer’s and contractor’s signatures.

The owner is required to submit three bids to VDH prior to receiving grant approval. VDH bases reimbursement on the lowest bid.

Persons in Family/Household 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines
1 $24,980
2 $33,820
3 $42,660
4 $51,500
5 $60,340
6 $69,180
7 $78,020
8 $86,860

For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $8,840 for each additional person.


Yarmouth Creek Watershed Maps


Morris Creek Watershed Maps

Please note, only properties located in the James City County portion of the Morris Creek Watershed are eligible.








Pagan River Watershed Maps


Lawnes Creek Watershed Maps