Conservationist Dennis Schvejda, who lives in the New York City watershed area, says that he just got a letter from the Catskill Watershed Corporation offering to pump out his septic tank, conduct a dye test on it, and replace any of its broken parts. For free.
For years, the CWC has had a program which bankrolls the replacement of septic systems owned by permanent residents who live within the watershed area. (There's millions set aside to fund it -- thank you, NYC watershed agreement.)
But this new service is something else, according to Schvejda, who answered our questions in an email:
I don't know why the free pump-out and dye-test is being offered at this time. We've never received a letter regarding this, and haven't enrolled in any program that would have triggered such a letter. It came out of the "blue." The letter mentioned "environmental priority areas." Perhaps this definition is new, and they are targeting their septic dollars.
And that's not the only septic freebie that the CWC is giving out. Tomorrow, at the West Hurley Fire Hall, you can take home a "free water saving kit" if you attend a two-hour workshop called "Your Septic System: What Every Homeowner Should Know." (If you can't make it to West Hurley tomorrow at 10am, there are two more Saturday workshops scheduled for April. For more details, go to the CWC's "Coming Events" page.