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I/A Septic Systems 
(Innovative / Alternative)

An Innovative Alternative System is essentially a conventional septic system that is enhanced with an intermediate denitrification unit positioned between the septic tank and the leach field. These units serve to diminish the total nitrogen (TN) content before it infiltrates the groundwater. Utilizing organic matter to foster anaerobic conditions, the denitrification unit converts nitrate present in the liquid waste into nitrogen gas, thereby reducing nitrogen levels effectively. Consequently, the effluent discharged from the system is significantly purer. Installation of such systems, known as I/A (Innovative/Alternative) systems, is contingent upon factors such as lot size, location, bedroom count, or local interpretations of Title V regulations. The cost of implementing I/A systems typically ranges from $25,000 to $100,000, subject to variations based on property specifics and the complexity of installation requirements.


Barnstable County List of Local I/A Septic Professionals
**not an endorsement


Licensed IA Operators - Barnstable Cty.PNG

List of Financial Resources

Related to Septic Upgrades from

Barnstable Clean Water Coalition's Website

State of Massachusetts & County Government Resources

Personal Income Tax Credit for Primary Residences in MA

Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 62 Section 6, owners of a primary residential property in Massachusetts can be allowed a credit equal to 40%  (up tp the cost of $15,000) of the expenditures for design and construction for the repair or replacement of a failed cesspool or septic system as defined by Title 5 regulation, with a maximum credit of $6,000. Homeowners may receive credit installments of $1,500 each tax year for four years. Qualifying expenses to bring a failed system into compliance include the design and construction of an upgraded system, and alternative system, a shared system, and a connector to a sewer.

This is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, and the Schedule SC application form can be accessed here:

Currently, Bill H 42 sponsored by Massachusetts Governor Maura Healy proposes doubling the tax credit for residents from $6,000 to $12,000 and accelerates the credit reimbursement schedule to give homeowners up to $4,000 in septic repair credits each year for three tax years. As of August 2023, this bill remains with the Joint Committee on Revenue.

For more information, refer to:

Cape Cod AquiFund

Cape Cod AquiFund, and program of Barnstable County formerly known as the Community Septic Management Loan Program, provides financial assistance to homeowners in Cape Cod in the form of low-interest betterment loans for septic system replacement, installation of advanced onsite wastewater treatment units, and sewer connections. The program offers an income-based tiered interest rate from 0%-4% based on median household income. Qualifications include single-family, year-round occupied primary residences.

Additional information on qualifications and the application process can be accessed here:

MassHousing Septic System Repair Loan

MassHousing is an independent, quasi-public agency providing septic system repair loans for failing or non-compliant septic systems through a network of participating lenders. Owners of 1 to 4-family dwellings are eligible to receive loans from $1,000 - $25,000 for a 15-year period at interest rates between 0% - 2.5% based on income eligibility.

Loans are originated by participating lenders, listed here:

For more information on this program, refer to:


Federal Government Resources

USDA Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants:

Also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program, this provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes or grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.

Eligibility requirements can be found here:

A property eligibility map and address research tool can be found here:


USDA Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans:

Also referred to as the Rural Home Loans or the Section 502 Direct Loan Program, this US Department of Agricultural Rural Development loan program provides loan funding to low-income individuals or households purchasing homes in rural areas. Funds can be used to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. The amount of assistance is determined by the adjusted family income. Some locations and municipalities in Cape Cod are eligible for funding.

Eligibility requirements can be found here:

A property eligibility map and address research tool can be found here:

For additional resources available to non-profit, state, and tribal organizations, and for a list of state-specific resources, please refer to the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Funding for Septic Systems’ site, located here:

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