ILWACO, Wash. — Enterprise Cascadia has received a $50,000 grant from The Russell Family Foundation to strengthen its septic loan product.

The new grant continues financial support provided by The Russell Family Foundation over the past seven years for work associated with the development and evolution of the product.  It will allow Enterprise Cascadia to bolster internal technological capacity to make septic loans at scale as it works to expand its loan services throughout the Puget Sound region. The grant will also support efforts to build awareness and acceptance of how properly managed sewage systems can protect human and environmental health in both rural and urban communities.  

In 2003, Enterprise Cascadia developed and implemented a model for financing replacement of malfunctioning septic systems in a small part of Pacific County. Grants in 2005 and 2007 supported taking this model to watershed scale in the Hood Canal region. Additional grant funds in 2008 s built the foundation for further expansion into the Puget Sound region.   

“Grants from The Russell Family Foundation have supported the creation of a strong public/private partnership leading to repair of over 250 on-site sewage systems,” said Terry Hull, Enterprise Cascadia Septic Program Manager, “deploying over $6 million in loans that produced significant triple bottom line results, identified new needs, and informed the strategies set forth to guide future efforts.” 

“Numerous public, private and other nonprofit partners have helped fund, initiate and carry out the Septic Loan,” shared Mike Dickerson, Enterprise Cascadia Executive Vice President, “including Gov. Chris Gregoire, the Washington Legislature, the state Departments of Ecology and Health, the Puget Sound Partnership, local and tribal governments, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, local onsite septic professionals and property owners and borrowers.” 

The Septic Loan is structured to reduce or eliminate the financial barriers preventing property owners from embarking on actions to repair, upgrade, or replace failed or ineffective on-site septic systems. Loan proceeds can cover 100 percent of the costs of designing, permitting, installing, and maintaining a septic system. Learn more about the Septic Loan at www.sbseptic.com.

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