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Northwest Ohio Communities Receive $7 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements
Communities in Northwest Ohio are receiving nearly $7 million in low-interest rate funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $1.58 million.
Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $122.9 million in loans during the third quarter of 2020, including $11.4 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $28 million when compared to market-rate loans. The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems. This funding includes assistance to local health districts to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems. Thus far for 2020, Ohio EPA has awarded assistance for home septic treatment to 75 counties and communities throughout the state.
For the third quarter of 2020, the following Northwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Genoa is receiving a $1.84 million loan for wastewater treatment plant improvements, including replacing the aeration system and adding chemical feed facilities for phosphorus removal and influent/effluent samplers.
- Napoleon is receiving $1.25 million to design a wastewater treatment plant improvement project including a new headworks facility, anaerobic digester, and sludge dewatering.
- Perrysville is receiving $1.12 million for wastewater treatment plant improvements. The project includes demolishing two oxidation ditches, replacing clarifier equipment, and replacing a manual bar screen with an automatic bar screen.
- Huron is receiving $942,134 to construct harmful algal bloom-related improvements to the sedimentation basin.
- LaRue is receiving $666,601 to demolish the village’s existing 100,000-gallon drinking water storage tank and construct a new 150,000-gallon water storage tank. This loan includes $330,492 in principal forgiveness, meaning that portion of the loan does not have to be repaid.
- Northwestern Water and Sewer District is receiving $407,226 to replace 300 feet of the McComb sanitary sewer interceptor. The existing 12-inch diameter concrete pipe will be replaced with an 18-inch PVC line, including four new manholes.
- St. Henry is receiving $238,350 to design upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment plant. The design will significantly upgrade the wastewater treatment plant and will include a treatment process to enhance phosphorus removal.
- Port Clinton is receiving two loans totaling $160,702 to plan topographic surveying and updated planning for its proposed sanitary sewer, storm sewer, drinking waterline, and associated improvements.
- Put-in-Bay is receiving two loans totaling $23,369. One is to design an open-air dried sludge pad and improve the dried sludge storage building at the wastewater treatment plant. The other loan is to design an extension of a low-pressure sanitary sewer force main serving the Sybil Boulevard water treatment plant.
- The Toledo/Lucas County Health Department and Huron County commissioners are each receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans to repair and replace household sewage treatment systems.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), started in 1998, provides loans for improvements to community drinking water systems and nonprofit, non-community public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to market-rate loans.
Ohio EPA’s state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage storm water, address combined sewer overflows, and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design, and construction activities and enhances the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.
Ohio’s SRF loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the SRF funds.
More information about the SRF loan program is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.
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. Since then, 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.