Water Infrastructure Grant For Septic Systems

Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) has received new funding through the American Rescue Plan Act to provide grants for property-owners residing in an unsewered community to repair or upgrade their septic system. The grant award may fund all costs directly related to the design, permitting and construction/rehabilitation of the private sewage disposal system for eligible residential or commercial properties.

 • Applicant must be owner of record of property
 • Max one grant award per person and one per property
 • Properties must be constructed before July 1, 1983
 • Properties cannot have not transferred ownership since July 1, 2009 (unless it was exempt from Time of Transfer rules)
 • Septic system must be in a failing condition.
 • Property must be in an unsewered community approved by the county
 • Unsewered Community = A densely populated area, with 10 or more houses with 1 or more houses per acre
MAP of identified unsewered communities in Story County

Eligibility Information, Award Conditions and Application Process (Official Iowa Finance Authority Flyer)
Iowa Finance Authority Automated Clearinghouse Transfer Authorization
Grant Application Process

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. General Questions 
  2. Eligibility Questions
  3. Application Questions
  4. Award Questions
  5. Miscellaneous Questions

Q:           What is this grant for?
A:            Iowa has over 500 communities that are considered unsewered, many of whom face environmental and public health risks. This IFA infrastructure fund will provide grants for property-owners residing in an unsewered community to repair or upgrade their septic system.

Q:           Where did funding come from? 
A:            The Water Infrastructure Fund (WIF) makes investments to support innovative projects across the state with the goal of protecting, preserving and restoring Iowa’s water resources. WIF is funded by the state of Iowa’s allocation of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”), which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021.

Q:           Are these funds being earmarked to counties for distribution?
A:            No. This is a first come, first serve program for everyone eligible in the state of Iowa. All projects are permitted at the county level and monies are approved and awarded by the Iowa Finance Authority.  

Q:           What is a private sewage disposal system?
A:            A system which provides for the treatment or disposal of domestic sewage from 4 or fewer dwelling units or the equivalent of less than 16 individuals on a continual basis. Average daily flow of less than 1,500 gallons per site.   Domestic sewage can be from residential or nonresidential facilities, but cannot include industrial waste of any flow rate except as provided for in 567-68.11 (455B).  The county local Board of Health is only authorized to regulate private septic systems under Chapter 69 of the Iowa Administrative Code.  

Q:           What is an unsewered community?
A:            A populated area, with around 10 houses with 1 or more houses per acre.   This area must be approved by the county.  Story County Environmental Health has a map on their website that identifies potentially eligible properties in our county. Please note properties that transferred since 2009 are not included on this list so if you believe the property is still eligible just contact our department.