Septic Repair Program

Area residents can apply for financial assistance to repair or replace septic systems based on need and location. Failing septic systems have been identified as a water quality issue in the area’s creeks and rivers leading to Lake Keowee. Failing septic systems release bacteria to groundwater and surface waters, which can put recreators at risk of skin infections, eye irritation, and more. Due to the potential for public health risks, bacteria is a pollutant regulated by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).  To better protect the quality of this recreational, major economic, and drinking water resource, the Lake Keowee Source Water Protection Team (LKSWPT) is spearheading this critical effort. The Lake Keowee Source Water Protection Team is a non-profit organization working for the long-term protection of water quality in Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee.  Duke Energy included funding in the Keowee-Toxaway Relicensing Agreement, signed by 17 parties in 2013, to form the Team.

The drainage area to Lake Keowee, also known as the Lake Keowee Watershed, comprises most of Oconee County and portions of Pickens County. Funds are prioritized to offset costs of septic system repairs and new replacement septic system installations on properties specifically in the watershed. To find out if you are eligible for funding, enter your property address on the location map link . If your property if outside of these boundaries but still in South Carolina, funds may still be available to you. Inquiries should be directed to (864) 605-1895, or visit for more information. Funding is based on household income, number of people in the home, if the home is in the watershed, and will be determined on a sliding scale. If you suspect you are eligible for funding, act now, as funds are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

This project has been sponsored by the SC DHEC, with in-kind contributions from the LKSWPT. Board members of this team include the following:

  • Friends of Lake Keowee Society (FOLKS),

  • Pickens County,

  • Oconee County,

  • Upstate Forever,

  • Advocates for Quality Development

  • City of Seneca

  • Greenville Water

Clemson University’s Center for Watershed Excellence serves as technical advisor and has assisted in acquiring these funds.

The long-term protection of this iconic and beloved water resource takes a community effort. To learn more about ways you can protect Lake Keowee, visit us at

This project was funded wholly or in part by the US EPA under a Section 319 Grant through the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC)