Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has added silage leachate collection systems to the Grand Lake St. Marys 319(h) grant. This addition was made at the request of the technical staff at Mercer Soil and Water Conservation District. OEPA also extended the deadline for Grand Lake St. Marys watershed stakeholders to cost share on septic systems, repair septic systems, and install tile control structures. The December 31, 2012, deadline is extended six months. All the projects must be completed and all bills submitted by Friday, June 28, 2013. 

There is funding available for approximately six septic system replacements. Applications are being accepted at this time. Applications are available at www.grandagain.org and by contacting the Mercer Soil and Water Conservation District, 419-586-3289. All applications will be ranked monthly at the Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District Board Meeting. After ranking, applications accepted into the program will be notified by mail. Any denied applications will also be notified by mail. Any project activities completed prior to acceptance into the program are not eligible for cost share. After the project is completed and certified, a copy of all bills must be submitted to the Mercer SWCD. After the bills are reviewed, a check for the cost share will be issued. No one may receive more than $7,500 from this cost share program. Cost Share is funded by a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the provision of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act.
If you are need additional information contact Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District, 419-586-3289 or laura.walker@mercercountyohio.org.
Failing septic systems are not always obvious. Systems over 20-25 years old are due for replacement. Mercer County Health Department, 419-586-3251 extension 1272 or cmiller@mccchd.org, can look up your home’s address to see what type of system you have installed. If they do not have a system in their records, you are due for a replacement! All septic systems installed through this cost share program must meet the requirements of your local Health Department. All permits and design will be completed as any other septic system installation. Cost share for this project is 40 percent the responsibility of the owner and 60 percent, up to a maximum of $7,500, is paid by the grant. 
Tile control structures can provide many different benefits. One of these benefits includes the ability to close the tile system when applying manure, thus preventing nutrients from entering the water. These tile control structures require an area that can be opened to investigate what is in the tile and an area that can be used to pump out the tile. All tile control structure designs must meet the approval of the Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District for this program. Prior to any project expenses, the design must be approved and the cost share application accepted. Cost share for tile control structures is 50 percent or $1,500 per structure, whichever is less. There is no limit on structures, but the maximum cost share per person is $7,500 for the entire grant program.
What happens to your silo wine? Are you collecting all the juice from the bunk? How much went into a tile last fall? Allowing your silo wine to enter a tile or run across the top of the ground is not an acceptable practice. If this liquid enters a tile or stream, it sucks up all the oxygen, kills the living organisms and ruins the water quality. A collection system includes items such as, pump, gravel, concrete, tank and pipe. Cost share is 75 percent or $2,000 (whichever is less).