Ohio is facing aging environmental infrastructure, rising construction costs, increased focus on asset management, strained local budgets for operations and maintenance, and increasing water and wastewater user charges for residential customers. These factors require communities to evaluate the affordability and sustainability of their water and wastewater systems, especially if there are opportunities for sharing services, interconnecting utilities and full regionalization.
Ohio EPA recognizes that consolidating water and wastewater facilities isn’t always possible, as some locations have constraints of distance or steep terrain that make regionalization cost-prohibitive. In those cases, Ohio EPA continues to work with communities and the existing infrastructure. However, where regionalization is possible, and the local entities are voluntarily looking to regionalize or consolidate, Ohio EPA continues to support these efforts and provide financial incentives to help reduce the up-front costs.
Two successful regionalization examples currently underway are West Milton and Aqua Ohio.
West Milton - Ludlow Falls Sanitary Sewer System
As part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, Ohio EPA awarded $500,000 in funding for West Milton’s Ludlow Falls sanitary sewer system project which is constructing sanitary sewers in the village of Ludlow Falls. Failing home sewage treatment systems in the village have caused high coliform readings in nearby Ludlow Creek. The project consists of constructing 9,600 feet of sanitary sewers, a pump station, and 7,300 feet of forcemain to capture wastewater from Ludlow Falls and send it to West Milton’s existing wastewater treatment plant. West Milton is also receiving $905,588 in principal forgiveness for this regionalization project from Ohio’s wastewater state revolving loan fund program, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. The project is also receiving grants from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Community Development Block Grant Program, and the Ohio Water Development Authority. All these entities working together will help the community maximize the resources available to complete this project.
Aqua Ohio - New Franklin Waterline Extension
This waterline regionalization project will eliminate 13 small public water systems, 10 of which had received violations for coliform and manganese. It will add service to residences, commercial lots and a daycare/preschool where per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) had been detected in Ohio’s PFAS Action Plan sampling program. This $3.8 million project received $1.9 million in principal forgiveness and the balance as zero percent interest loan. Meeting with Ohio EPA staff in advance and submitting complete documentation helped this project launch successfully.
If you’re interested in learning more about working with Ohio EPA on a regionalization project, please join our webinar on April 20, 2021 where we will discuss the opportunities and challenges of drinking water and wastewater regionalization. Presenters will examine the concept of regionalization and consolidation for drinking water and wastewater utilities. The presentation will include examples of successful regionalization projects in Ohio and an analysis of the different funding agencies and programs available. Attendees will also be able to ask questions during the webinar.
Questions? Please contact Katie Courtright at email@example.com.