Under Senate Bill (SB) 2, public water systems in Ohio must demonstrate the technical, managerial and financial capability of their system by implementing an asset management program by Oct. 1, 2018. Asset management is a process through which the capital assets of a utility (such as pumps, motors, pipes etc.) are accounted for and put on a schedule for repair, replacement and upgrades. Another important component to asset management is ensuring sufficient funds are set aside for these activities. Without asset management programs, communities are challenged to prevent and address problems that can arise at their drinking water plants.
To help communities meet these new state requirements, Ohio EPA offers special funding assistance for asset management planning activities through its Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA).
In program year (PY) 2017, the WSRLA offered a total of $100,000 in principal forgiveness, with a $5,000 per applicant maximum, and zero percent loan funds offered for the balance. In PY 2018, the WSRLA offered a total of $150,000 in principal forgiveness, with a $10,000 per applicant maximum, and zero percent loan funds offered for the balance.
The draft PY 2019 WSRLA Program Management Plan was just released. Ohio EPA continues to offer some limited principal forgiveness for asset management planning in 2019. To date, more than 40 communities in Ohio have received, or are in the process of receiving, WSRLA loan funding to finance asset management efforts. For more information, please contact our office at (614) 644-2798 or visit our website at epa.ohio.gov/defa/ofa.
In 2017, the Village of Tuscarawas received a WSRLA loan for $35,169 at zero percent interest (which included $5,000 of principal forgiveness). This financed a Geographical Information System survey and base map of the existing infrastructure, a rate analysis and an administrative review by the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Partnership. This plan will guide future effective financial, administrative management and capital improvement planning for the Village’s water system.