criteria to qualify

Wisconsin Fund InformationOn November 13, 1981, the Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution requesting Wisconsin Fund assistance for "Private Sewage System Replacement or Rehabilitation". The program is administered through the Department of Commerce, Safety & Building Division in Madison with the Trempealeau County Health Department administering the program at the county level. 

In order to be eligible for the grant program, you must meet the following four (4) requirements:

1) The residence must be occupied by the owner, who must reside in the residence at least 51% of the year. The private sewage system serving your residence must have been constructed prior to July 1, 1978. No rental property is eligible under the Program.

A sewage system serving your small commercial establishment (this includes a farm residence if it is occupied by a person who operates the farm) must be constructed prior to July 1, 1978. The maximum daily wastewater flow limit for a small commercial establishment is 5,000 gallons per day as determined from the design criteria of the State Plumbing Code.

2) A failing private sewage system is a system, which causes or results in any of the following conditions:

  • The discharge of sewage into surface water or groundwater. (Category 1)
  • The introduction of sewage into zones of saturation which adversely affects the operation of a private sewage system. (Category 1)
  • The discharge of sewage to a drain tile or into zones of bedrock. (Category 1)
  • The discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground. (Category 2)
  • The failure to accept sewage discharges and back up of sewage into the structure served by the private sewage system. This type of failing system is not eligible for grant assistance. (Category 3)

3) Annual family income may not exceed $45,000, or 125% of county median, whichever is greater. Annual income means adjusted gross income of the owners as computed for Federal income tax purposes in the year of or prior to the enforcement order. The program also establishes a "base level" income of $32,000. A person whose income does not exceed $32,000 would be eligible for the full grant amount provided by the grant funding tables. A person whose income was more than $32,000, but less than 45,000, would receive the amount in the tables less 30% of the amount by which the persons income exceeds $32,000. The amount determined by this formula must be at least $100 for the homeowner to be eligible for any grant payment.

The income limitation for small commercial establishments is an annual gross revenue of $362,500. The applicable tax records must be filed with our Department.

4) Grant eligibility will be established by a "determination of failure" which must be made before the failing private sewage system is replaced or repaired. The county may issue an enforcement order against any failing private sewage system.

The Department of Commerce, Safety & Buildings Division will determine the maximum state grant award for specific eligible work involved in the replacement or rehabilitation of a private sewage system based upon grant funding tables. The grant award may not exceed 60% of the replacement costs. If funds are not sufficient to provide a full grant to all eligible applicants, the Department of Commerce is required to prorate payments to the degree of environmental harm.

In order to replace or rehabilitate a failed private sewage system, you must have a certified soil tester conduct a complete soil evaluation of your property. This work will determine the type of system, the location of the system and its size. After this test has been completed, it will be filed with the Health Department. You then should contact a Wisconsin licensed plumber to design the system and complete the necessary paperwork required to obtain a sanitary permit. Upon issuance of a sanitary permit to the plumber, please also submit the following items:

  • Completed Owners Application
  • Proper Income Tax Form(s)
  • Copies of the receipted, itemized plumber and soil testers bills
  • Copies of the payment checks to your plumber and soil tester
  • A copy of the deed to your property

This Department will then process your grant request in accordance with State deadlines. The grant money, however, is not disbursed until your system has been installed.

Trempealeau County cannot guarantee that you will receive a grant for your system. If you do receive grant money, Trempealeau County Health Department will charge a processing fee of $65.00. Fees are subject to change as authorized by the Trempealeau County Fee Schedule Ordinance.

This is not a complete summary of the Wisconsin Fund Private Sewage System Grant Program. The Program is subject to change by the State Legislature.

If you have any questions regarding the Program, please contact the Health Department at the Courthouse in Whitehall or call the Health Office at (715) 538-2311, ext. 222.

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