Repair Costs for Hurricane-Related Damage to Wells, Septic Systems May be Available

November 7, 2005

Louisiana residents in disaster-declared parishes whose wells or septic systems were damaged as a result of Hurricanes Katrina or Rita may be eligible for financial assistance from The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete necessary repairs.

Homeowners in declared areas may be eligible for grant funding to pump septic tanks, perform required repairs or replace the system as needed. Damaged private wells that are the sole source of water for the home also may be repaired or decontaminated.

“We don’t want anyone living in a house with contaminated water or raw sewage,” said FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer Scott Wells. “Applicants for state and federal disaster assistance should advise the FEMA inspector they have a private well and septic system.”

Home-repair grants are designed to restore the home to a safe, secure and functional condition. To qualify for this disaster assistance, applicants must own their home, and the home must be their primary residence. Grants are not intended to restore a home to pre-disaster condition and cannot be used for cosmetic repairs or repairs covered by insurance.

Any Louisiana resident in a declared parish who suffered damage or losses from the recent hurricanes can register for disaster assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) . The number for people with hearing or speech impairment is
(TTY) 1-800-462-7585 . Individuals may also register for disaster assistance at the FEMA Web site .

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