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FACT SHEET: Damaged Wells and Septic Systems May be Eligible for FEMA Assistance

Release date: 
November 1, 2019
Release Number: 
FEMA-4466-DR FS 002

Texas residents in disaster-declared counties whose wells or septic systems were damaged by Tropical Storm Imelda, may be eligible for financial help from FEMA. Septic systems and wells are generally not covered by flood insurance.


Who may be eligible?

  • To be considered eligible for assistance, your pre-disaster primary home must be located in one of the seven counties designated for Individual Assistance: Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Orange and San Jacinto counties.
  • The damage must have occurred during Tropical Storm Imelda between, Sept. 17-23, 2019.

What Assistance may be available?

  • Eligible services for septic tanks may include cleaning, repairing or replacing the septic system as needed.
  • Awards are also available for the repair or decontamination of private wells that are the sole source of water for a home.

How Can I Find Out if I May be Eligible?

  • Check with your homeowner’s and flood insurance providers to determine if your well and/or septic are covered under your policy.
  • If these items are not covered, register with FEMA for assistance by:
  • If you have already registered for FEMA assistance and received a grant, call the Disaster Assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362 and ask for information on how to appeal to FEMA requesting a review of your case.

Low-Interest Disaster Loans May Be Available

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also cover repairs to septic systems and wells. These loans are available for businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes, homeowners and renters. Disaster survivors with insurance should not wait for an insurance settlement before applying to the SBA.


Survivors who are referred to the SBA disaster loan program should complete and return the application. Completing the application does not obligate survivors to accept an SBA loan; however, it can be a necessary step to be considered for other additional forms of federal disaster assistance.


Help completing and submitting the application is available at any Disaster Recovery Center or SBA Business Recovery Center (BRC). To locate and learn the hours for a BRC, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.

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FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has faced discrimination, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362, voice/VP/711. Multilingual operators are available. TTY users may call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. TTY users may also call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email or visit SBA at

Last Updated: 
November 1, 2019 - 12:40