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WI Fund Grant

Wisconsin Fund Septic Replacement Grant

Established in 1978, the Private Sewage System Replacement or Rehabilitation Grant Program provides financial incentives to protect and improve public health, safety and groundwater quality in Wisconsin. As part of this program, participating Wisconsin counties may apply to the Department of Commerce (DOC) for grants to financially assist homeowners and owners of small commercial establishments in rehabilitating or replacing a failing private sewage system.

Through Comm 87, Wisconsin Administrative Code and Chapter 145.245 Wisconsin Statutes, rules were established for the implementation and administration of the Wisconsin Fund Grant Program.

Qualification for a grant is dependent on household income and the nature of failure of the system being replaced. To apply for a grant, you must obtain a sanitary permit, complete an application form, and provide evidence of your annual income.

The Vernon County Board has established an application fee of $200 for participation in the Grant Program. This fee is to offset the county administrative costs and the cost of supervising installation and maintenance.

It is best to apply as soon as your new system has been installed. However, you may apply up to three years after the date of the enforcement order. Grant funds are allocated on an annual cycle. The county submits application to the Department Of Commerce by January 31 each year. DOC then makes grant awards the following fiscal year (after July 1) with payment issued the following fall.


1. Income requirements:

a. Principal Residence. An annual family income cannot exceed $45,000.

Annual family income means, the Adjusted Gross Income of the person or persons who hold title to the principal residence, the owner’s spouse and co-owners, if any, computed as Adjusted Gross Income in the year prior to, or the year of the enforcement order. (Trusts and Estates must consider income of all owners’ family incomes.)

On your Federal Income Tax form the amount is listed on:

Form 1040
Line 37
Form 1040A
Line 21
Form 1040EZ
Line 4
Form 8453
Line 1

Funding values are established by using a flat rate table, with a sliding scale based on income. Income equal to or below $32,000 qualifies for full grant funding. Funding for individuals with income exceeding $32,000, but under $45,000, is reduced by 30% of the income that exceeds $32,000.

Small Commercial Establishment.
     The annual gross income of the business being served by the septic system cannot exceed $362,500.

A farm is eligible as a small commercial establishment as long as the farm is operating and is over 35 acres. Any income to the owner(s) incurred off the farm must be taken into account, the total being less than $362,500. Most small commercial establishments would report their income on one of the following forms:

Schedule F
line 11
Form 1065
line 7
Sole Proprietorship
Schedule C
line 8
Form 1120
line 11
form 1120A
line 11

The Federal 1040 cannot be used to determine the income of a business.

2. The residence must be owner occupied 51% of the year.

3. The failing system that serves the residence or small commercial establishment must have been constructed prior to July 1, 1978.

4. If a small commercial establishment, the total average sewage flow must be less than 5,000 gallons per day.

5. Public sewer cannot be available to the property.

6. The residence or commercial establishment must not have received a previous grant under this program.

7. Your septic system must be failing by discharging of sewage to surface water, groundwater or zones of seasonal saturation (mottling).

8. The owner of the property must provide a copy of all canceled checks or statements from the contractors marked paid in full associated with the replacement of their septic system. No funds will be awarded until the County has received all canceled checks or statements.


THIS IS NOT A GUARANTEED PROGRAM. Final approval is made by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Should the dollar amount of grant applications statewide exceed the funds available in this program grants would be awarded on a prorated basis.