VDH's Septic and Well Assistance Program
The Virginia Department of Health received a $11.5 million allocation in the Governor’s Budget Bill approved on August 10, 2021 to help low-income homeowners repair or replace well and septic systems. The allocation is part of the Commonwealth’s funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Office of Environmental Health Services (OEHS) is using those ARPA funds through the Septic and Well Assistance Program (SWAP), which to assist homeowners with incomes at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
NOTICE: SWAP applications for direct projects closed on September 2, 2022. This is to ensure that all project applications received on or before that date are fully funded.
Please feel free to send any questions regarding this pause to VDH_SWAP_Grant@vdh.virginia.gov.
VDH uses the 2022 Federal Health and Human Serves Department 2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) to determine eligibility. Homeowners whose income is at or below 200% (2 times the FPG) are eligible.
|Persons In Household||200% Federal Poverty Guidelines|
|>8||Add $9,440 for each additional person|
Eligibility is based upon income verification of the family unit or economic unit that legally owns the home and associated property for which wastewater/water improvements are needed. The SWAP uses the process outline in the VDH "Eligibility and Charging Structure Guidance Document" to verify income and determine eligibility.
SWAP covers the cost of:
- Repairing or replacing failing septic systems.
- Replacing straight pipes and privies.
- Installing conventional system repairs, alternative system repairs, or sewer connection.
- Replacing inadequate private wells and drinking water supplies.
- Properly abandoning unused wells.
- Installing replacement wells or public water connections.
For the purposes of SWAP inadequate private drinking water supplies are considered any of the following:
1) Replacement of a dry well;
2) Replacement of a well that is document to have an exceedances of a maximum contaminant level or other health standards;
3) Replacement of bored wells;
4) Replacement of wells installed prior to any regulatory requirements related to the Private Well Regulations established in 1990;
5) Replacement of a well in poor condition that is potentially under surface water influence;
6) Replacement of a well that is required to be abandoned in order to permit a sewage system repair under SWAP; or
7) Replacement of a developed drinking water supply (e.g. spring or cistern) that is not a private well for an existing home.
8) Replacement of developed private drinking water supply when access to private drinking water is no longer available for an existing home.
How old is your septic systems?
Most septic systems last about 30 years before having to be repaired or replaced.
When is the last time you tested your private well for water quality?
Almost 1 in 3 private wells tested exceeds safe drinking water levels for bacteria and/or critical heavy metals, representing serious health hazards.
VDH will receive ARPA funding designated for repair/replacement of failing onsite sewage systems and private wells for low-income home owners. We want to make sure we can help as many families as possible.
Over half of the approximately 1.1 million onsite sewage systems in Virginia are reaching the end of their usable lifespan, and the majority of the over 700,000 private wells are not regularly tested for water quality. This project will significantly improve the health of many Virginians, which is the heart of our mission.
NOTICE: SWAP application period for direct projects closed on September 2, 2022. This is to ensure that all project applications received on or before that date are fully funded. VDH is no longer accepting SWAP applications for funding assistance at this time.
If you are an individual homeowner and are interested in applying to the Septic and Well Assistance Program, unfortunately VDH is currently not accepting applications. However, homeowners may communicate their need for septic and well assistance by filling out an interest form. Please refer to the "NEW-Homeowner SWAP Interest Form".
As of September 3, 2022, VDH is no longer accepting applications for SWAP. VDH is currently looking for additional resources to restart this important program in the future. Although funds are not currently available for new applications, VDH will collect information from homeowners to document the need for septic and well assistance in Virginia.
If you are an individual homeowner and are experiencing issues with your septic system, do not currently have a septic system (e.g. using a straight pipe) or are experiencing inadequate private drinking water issues, please share this information with VDH's Septic and Well Assistance Program by filling out the form and emailing it to vdh_SWAP_grant@vdh.virginia.gov or share the form with your local health department.
Please note, submission of an interest form is not an application for funding and does not guarantee future funding for your project.
Homeowners can continue to fill out and submit to your local health department the Septic and Well Permit Application. Under VDH's Hardship Guidelines, local health departments can assist homeowners at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines with conventional septic and private well designs. If you would like VDH to provide design services you will have to fill out and submit a Petition for Services form below.
If you need help with the application process you can contact your local health department.
VDH plans to provide roughly 50% of available funding to local partners that would like to implement the SWAP grant program in their area. Funds will be offered through a series of Requests for Applications (RFA) which will provide grants to eligible entities for between $100,000 - $300,000. Applications will be accepted for organizations who can respond to an immediate need to provide funding to homeowners at or below the 200% of the federal poverty guidelines to repair failing onsite sewage (septic) systems, replace straight pipes, replace privies, replace inadequate private wells, and properly abandoning unused wells. Funding can also be used for the connection to public sewer for failing onsite septic systems or to replace straight pipes and privies as well as for the connection to public water.
Eligible Applicants: Local governments (including counties, cities, towns, and municipal corporations), soil and water conservation districts, Tribes located within the Commonwealth of Virginia, planning district commissions, regional commissions, nonprofit environmental organizations.
Funding Available for:
- Connection to public sewer for malfunctioning onsite sewage system, straight pipe or privy.
- Conventional onsite sewage system repair.
- Conventional onsite sewage system installation to address straight pipe or privy
- Alternative onsite sewage system repair or installation.
- Alternative onsite sewage system installation to address straight pipe or privy.
- Single family alternative discharge sewage treatment system to address failing onsite systems, straight pipe or privy.
- Private well installation.
- Private well abandonment.
- Connection to public water to replace inadequate private well.
- Upcoming: VDH-SWAP-LP-2022-02 Septic and Well Assistance Program Local Partners Request for Applications. RFA will close November 1, 2022 at 4:30 pm. EST. Funds Available: $5.1 million. Project timeframe 10/1/2022 to 9/30/2025. Two rounds of application review:
- RFA-2 Round 1: Deadline August 1, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. EST
- RFA-2 Round 2: Deadline November 1, 2022 at 4:30 pm EST
- Submit materials per RFA to VDH_SWAP_Grant@vdh.virginia.gov subject line “VDH SWAP RFA-1 [name of applicant organization]”
- RFA can be found on eVA: https://mvendor.cgieva.com/Vendor/public/ADVSODetails.jsp?PageTitle=SO%20Details&DOC_CD=RFA&Details_Page=ADVSODetails.jsp&DEPT_CD=A601&BID_INTRNL_NO=105&BID_NO=105&BID_VERS_NO=1
Current Webinar/Training Opportunities:
No current webinars or training scheduled.
Past Webinar/Training Opportunities:
Webinar recording from SWAP Grant Local Partners RFA 1. You can view a recording of the webinar at the link below.
If you have any questions please send those to VDH_SWAP_Grant@vdh.virginia.gov subject “SWAP RFA Question”. Or you can contact the Wastewater Infrastructure Manager, Nicole Sandberg, at (804) 291-6483 or Nicole.Sandberg@vdh.virginia.gov with any questions.
Local partner funding is being provided based on VDH Health Regions boundaries. You can find a list of localities within each Health Region, and a map of the Health Regions below.
VDH has received many questions for both the Direct Funding to homeowners as well as the RFA for Local Partners. We have compiled the questions and answers into one document and produced a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. If you have questions that are not addressed by this document, please send them to VDH_SWAP_grant@vdh.virginia.gov.
VDH has $7.2 million of SWAP funds that will be issued by VDH for competitive bid to retain contractors and service providers to repair, replace and install onsite septic systems (conventional or alternative), install connections to public sewer, abandon unused private wells and water sources, repair or install private wells or connect homes to public water. The objective of this opportunity is to assist Commonwealth of Virginia homeowners in repairing or replacing private wells, onsite sewage systems, straight pipes or privies, properly abandon private wells, and connect to public water and sewer. Work will be determined as the need arises for individual projects based on a defined scope of services.
Active Quick Quotes: To access current bid opportunities, please refer to: https://mvendor.cgieva.com/Vendor/public/AllOpportunities.
- Either type in EVA QQ number, or
- Under 'Advanced Search' select a) Open, b) VA Department of Health under buying entity, c) Quick Quote under Opportunity Type, d) Non-Professional Services - Non-Technology under Category.
Table of open quick quotes in eVA as of 9/6/2022 can be found here.
Request for Qualifications for Well and Septic Service Providers
The Virginia Department of Health's recently released a “Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Septic and Well Assistance Program - Service Providers” which is soliciting Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from licensed and insured Contractors for Septic and or Well Services throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Qualified Contractors will be allowed to bid on individual projects solicited through the state e-procurement website eVA (www.eva.virginia.gov). VDH anticipates starting to notify qualifying firms/organizations of decisions July 1, 2022. It is the desire to qualify multiple Contractors for various projects for grant period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025. VDH will post all bids for projects to contractors qualified under this RFQ. VDH makes no guaranties as to the quantity of projects that will post. It is estimated that more than 250 projects will go out for bid over the next three years. You can find the RFQ at the link below.
Webinar Training for Contractors and Service Providers for RFQ:
VDH hosted a webinar to discuss the SWAP program as it relates to Contractors for Septic and or Well Services throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The webinar was held on August 17, 2022, from 4:30to 5:30. You can view a recording of the webinar here.
Materials for Contractors and Service Providers interested or participating in SWAP:
Information on eVA.