Septic Assistance Program

Edisto Island Septic System Improvement and Assistance Program

The Edisto Island Watershed-Based Plan identified failing or poorly maintained septic systems as the most likely source of bacterial pollution across the watershed. Increased levels of fecal coliform, enterococcus, and other bacteria, can result in negative health impacts and reduced recreational opportunities for everyone who uses our tidal waterways and can cause hardships for the members of the community who rely on our creeks to put food on the table. To reduce the bacterial load in the watershed, the Edisto Island Open Land Trust (EIOLT) created the Edisto Island Septic System Improvement and Assistance Program to: (1) educate all septic owners on Edisto Island about the importance of septic system maintenance and (2) to fund the replacement or repair of septic systems for residents who can use the financial help.

This program began in summer of 2022 with a grant from the Healthy Harbors Fund, which is managed by the Coastal Community Foundation, and has since been expanded in scope and scale with a second grant from the Healthy Harbors Fund in combination with a three-year EPA Section 319 grant via SC-DHEC and a one-year Charleston County Community Investment grant for 2024. EIOLT staff manage the program and work closely with program partners to make progress towards reducing bacterial pollution in our tidal creeks.

Financial Assistance

Replacing a failed septic system isn’t cheap. The Septic System Financial Assistance Program was created to help homeowners when they may not be able to afford to inspect, repair, or replace their septic system. The program prioritizes helping the members of our community with the greatest need, whose systems are failing or outdated, and those who live near impaired waterways and on soils prone to flooding. EIOLT is also able to assist residents on heir’s properties or long-term rental properties in both Charleston and Colleton Counties. The program provides a free septic system inspection and pump-out to qualified applicants. If the septic system is in a priority area and the inspection finds it to be damaged or failing, the financial assistance program may be able to repair or replace the system, at zero-cost to the homeowner. The program can also cover the costs of repairs to any damaged wastewater plumbing leading into the septic system.

Click Here to Apply for Financial Assistance through EIOLT’s Septic Assistance Program

Edisto Island Septic System Improvement and Assistance Program is administered by EIOLT and funded by the Coastal Community Foundation’s Healthy Harbors Fund, Charleston County’s Community Investment Fund, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency and made possible by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.