PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Three areas devastated by the 2020 wildfires will receive millions of dollars in federal funding to help repair and replace their damaged septic systems, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced Tuesday.
The $5.2 million in grant money comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The Oregon legislature decided the funding would support the recovery of communities impacted by the 2020 fires.
The grant recipients include the Eugene Water and Electric Board, Homes for Good, Lincoln County, and Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments.
All four will use the money to assist homeowners who have repaired or are in the process of repairing or replacing their septic systems after the fires.
EWEB and Homes for Good will both provide financial aid to those impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire in Lane County. EWEB will provide the support through its Pure Water Partners Program and Homes For Good will help the Lazy Days Mobile Home Park develop a community septic system for 30 spaces. EWEB received $1,592,410 in grant funding and Homes for Good received $575,341.
Lincoln County will support survivors of the Echo Mountain Complex Fire. The funding will provide septic repairs or replacements for up to 150 homeowners. The county received $1,164,924.
The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments will provide funding to people impacted by the Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires in Marion County. They will focus on repairing and replacing septic systems in Detroit, Idanha, Gates and other unincorporated areas. The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments received $2 million.
The 2020 wildfires destroyed the city of Detroit’s drinking water treatment system and contaminated its water sources. In October 2021, Mayor Jim Trett told KOIN 6 News the city had just installed a temporary filtration system, but had plans to start a multi-million-dollar project to replace the destroyed system.
He expected the system would be completed in spring 2023.