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Damaged Wells, Septic Systems May Be FEMA Eligible

Release date: 
July 2, 2019
Release Number: 
DR-4440-SD NR-012

PIERRE, S.D. – Flood survivors in 16 South Dakota counties and reservations designated for federal disaster assistance could be eligible for financial help from FEMA if they have flood-damaged wells and/or septic systems. The deadline to be register is August 6, 2019.

Under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, survivors might be eligible to receive assistance to pay for pumping out septic tanks. If the system is damaged from the flooding, applicants can provide estimates from contractors for repairing or replacing the system. Damaged wells that are the sole source of water for a home might qualify as well.

To be considered for this assistance, the property owner needs to register with FEMA, own the property and use the house serviced by the well or septic system as a primary residence. In addition, the property must be in one of these counties or reservations: Bennett, Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Dewey, Hutchinson, Jackson, Mellette, Minnehaha, Oglala Lakota, Todd, Turner, Yankton and Ziebach counties; Cheyenne River Sioux, Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. The damage had to occur from March 13 through April 26, 2019. 

If you have already registered with FEMA and your house has been inspected but you are not sure whether the well or septic system damage has been documented, you can contact FEMA and check the status of your application one of three ways:

     • Online at
     • Via FEMA’s disaster app on your smartphone. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, you can go to
     • By calling 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are on duty. Phone lines are open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CDT), seven days a week until further notice.

If you have not yet registered for FEMA, do that first. Make sure to mention that you have a private well or septic system damaged by flooding. When a FEMA inspector comes to look at your property, make sure to inform him or her about the well or septic system damage so it can be considered when FEMA makes your assistance determination.

Last Updated: 
August 8, 2019 - 15:59