CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Athens Project Receives Ohio EPA Loan for Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements

Ohio EPA has issued an $18.6 million loan to the city of Athens to improve its wastewater treatment plant. The Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) project will include a major , which is needed to properly treat an increase in wastewater from the population growth.

In addition, the city qualifies for the septage receiving discount, which reduces the interest rate on the loan from 2.4 to 1.8 percent. Athens will save an estimated $5.2 million over the 20-year life of the loan when compared to the market rate of 4.13 percent.

The modernized wastewater treatment process will replace the chlorine-based disinfection system with a UV disinfection system, which is safer to operate and has an increased ability to break the cycle of transmitting disease-carrying organisms. The system will include energy efficiency components and help the city maintain long-term compliance with its wastewater discharge permit. The planned septage receiving station will serve as a regional hub for treating home sewage treatment system (HSTS) waste. Such a hub currently does not exist and will help area septage haulers with fuel efficiency while ensuring the proper disposal of HSTS waste. Ultimately, the project will protect the Hocking River and public health.

an Fund has awarded more than $6 billion in below-market financing for sewage treatment plant upgrades and other water quality improvement projects. The program has saved borrowers more than $1.1 billion in interest.  Low-interest loans also have been provided to municipalities and individuals for agricultural best management practices; home sewage system improvements; contaminated site cleanup; and landfill closures.  Additionally, the WPCLF can provide technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems.

This state revolving loan fund is partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds.  The loan program is managed by Ohio EPA, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority.  Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination and environmental reviews of projects seeking funds.  The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA -- 40 years and moving forward.

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