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Septic tank vouchers still available

The Buxahatchee Creek Watershed Restoration Project will host another “Get Pumped” Septic Tank Pumpout Workshop at the Calera Middle School auditorium July 20.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. with the one-hour workshop starting at 6 p.m.

Attendees living in Chilton County will receive a voucher for $250 to be used to pump or repair their home septic systems.

Watershed coordinator Glenn Littleton said there are now 64 vouchers available for Chilton County residents after a meeting last May when more than 70 were distributed. There are 97 vouchers remaining for Shelby County residents.

Littleton said the meeting was positive, and homeowners who have since used the vouchers said they paid little more than the $250 if they were charged any more at all.

The vouchers are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of one voucher per person.

The vouchers are made possible by the Buxahatchee Creek Watershed Restoration Project and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

The workshop will include a presentation by the Alabama Department of Public Health about how septic systems work and how they are maintained.

The Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board will provide a list of licensed pumpers that serve the Chilton County area. Residents are encouraged to check to see which pumpers are participating in the voucher program.

Each voucher will be good for 90 days. The amount of the voucher should be taken directly off the homeowner’s bill.

Littleton said when the initiative first started, pumping rates ran as high as $325-350, but prices have come down a little and pumpers tend to take the voucher without asking for more money most of the time.

“This has been a good deal for homeowners,” Littleton said. “The comment I’ve heard most from people is whether or not there will be a catch, but there isn’t one. It’s pretty much zero cost to homeowners. It’s an economical saving for them, and it’s environmentally friendly.”

Those who cannot attend the workshop to claim a voucher, such as elderly people, may send someone to represent them, Littleton said.

For more information, contact Littleton at littgn@yahoo.com or (205) 217-2592.