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Jasper County residents can receive reimbursements for reducing - KOAM TV 7

Jasper County residents can receive reimbursements for reducing contamination of Spring River Watershed

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Funding is now available to many residents in eastern Jasper County for several improvement projects to reduce contamination of the Spring River Watershed.

Carthage resident Karen Wright recently purchased a rain barrel with a $90 reimbursement, thanks to a $300,000 grant received by the Spring River Watershed Partnership in 2012.

"With one good rain, the water drains from your roof into the guttering, then into the barrel, and 65 gallons fills up very quickly," Wright said.

Now many other residents can also qualify for a rain barrel reimbursement.

The area in which residents are eligible has recently been expanded to include most of eastern Jasper County.

Other projects that reduce water contamination can also be partly reimbursed.

"We can help install watering systems for cattle to help keep them out of the streams," said Tony Moehr, administrator of the Jasper County Health Department. "We can possibly do some projects to help control stream bank erosion in areas of the county."

The program also aims to reduce contaminants by providing reimbursement opportunities for the cost of repairing and pumping septic tanks.

"We recommend that a septic system be pumped at least every three to five years to extend the life span of it," Moehr said. "A lot of people just don't do that, so one of the things that we can do is pay up to half the cost."

Officials hope the reimbursements will serve as an incentive for residents to make small improvements leading to a large impact. 

"Everybody lives in a watershed, and anything you do on your property affects the water quality in the entire watershed," Moehr said.

"It's a very good opportunity," Wright said.

Those interested in applying for reimbursements should contact the Jasper County Health Department.

To find out if you live within the eligible area, visit http://www.jaspercounty.org/health_department/springriver/index.html for an interactive map.
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