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Southwest Ohio Communities Receive $30 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements
Communities in Southwest Ohio have been awarded more than $30 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 $5 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 Southwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Warren County is receiving a $15.3 million loan for treatment upgrades at both of the county’s drinking water treatment plants. The project includes membrane softening and expanding the capacity of both plants.
- Dayton is receiving $4.83 million to design a project to install additional anaerobic digesters and rehabilitate existing digesters to address the level of service needed to process and treat sludge into beneficial Class B biosolids.
- Cincinnati is receiving two loans totaling $4 million. The largest loan, $3.1 million, will fund the Dexter Avenue water main replacement. The project will replace 11,403 feet of water main and 149 lead branches. The second loan, $952,696, will fund replacement of 4,844 feet of water main on Rob Vern Drive. Both projects will reduce Greater Cincinnati Water Works’ water loss.
- Germantown is receiving $2.69 million to replace an existing water tower and upgrade the operations control system.
- Greene County is receiving two loans totaling $2.1 million to design and expand the Northwest Regional Water Treatment Plant and improve the Grant Hall and Indian Ripple pump stations. The county plans to expand the water plant capacity and incorporate reverse osmosis membrane treatment. The pump station improvements will increase pumping capacity to serve the Clyo and Swigart areas.
- West Milton is receiving $905,588 in principal forgiveness to construct a new sanitary sewer collection system in the village of Ludlow Falls as part of a regionalization project that will convey Ludlow Falls sewage to West Milton’s wastewater treatment plant. Additionally, West Milton is receiving $500,000 in H2Ohio funding for this project.
- Logan County is receiving $458,499 to design replacement sanitary sewers for Orchard Island and Wolfe Island in Washington Township.
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.