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Financial Assistance

Ohio EPA has several programs that offer below-market rate loans to eligible public water systems to fund improvements to eliminate public health threats and ensure compliance with federal and state drinking water laws and regulations.

Join the Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) electronic mailing list to stay informed about the financial assistance program. Questions? Call the Financial Assistance Program at (614) 644-2752.

News

Fluoridation Assistance Program

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) offers financial assistance to community water systems that fluoridate to help offset the costs of replacing fluoridation feeding and testing equipment. Communities that are interested in initiating water fluoridation may be eligible to receive reimbursement for start-up costs, including the first year's supply of fluoride supplement. This funding is generously offered through a grant from the Delta Dental Foundation, and the amount awarded to each water system is contingent on funding received by ODH. Please visit the Fluoridation Assistance Program website to learn more about this program. If you anticipate initiating water fluoridation or needing to replace your fluoridation feeding and testing equipment in 2020, please send an email to Barbara.Carnahan@odh.ohio.gov. If you can, estimate the approximate costs and indicate the number of persons served by your water system. This will assist ODH in preparing the next grant application to the Delta Dental Foundation.

WSRLA Harmful Algal Bloom Project Nominations

Project nominations for harmful algal bloom (HAB) projects may be submitted at any time. Click here for nomination form.

Harmful Algal Bloom Financial Incentives Fact Sheet

In recent years harmful algal blooms (HABs) have impaired recreational and drinking water uses. To address this issue, Ohio EPA is making available additional funds to public water systems to enhance drinking water treatment and mitigate impacts resulting from HABs. Click here for more information.  

Lead Service Line Inventory and Mapping Grant 

Beginning March 28, 2022 through April 30, 2022 Ohio EPA is offering up to a $50,000 grant to public water systems for lead service line identification, mapping, and replacement planning efforts. Community and Non-transient non-community public water systems will be able to apply for the reimbursement grant through Ohio EPA. This grant is possible through the H2Ohio initiative which was launched by Governor Mike DeWine in 2019.  To learn more about H2Ohio, visit h2.ohio.gov.

Applications for this grant opportunity were funded through year 3 of Governor DeWine's H2Ohio initiative. Applications for year 3 of H2Ohio are now closed. Ohio EPA is exploring additional funding during year 4 of H2Ohio. Please consider sending in applications for year 4 which decisions will be made starting July 1, 2022. 

Eligible Activities 

Eligible activities must be related to identification, mapping and integration of service line information into the public water systems asset management program for future replacement of lead service lines. A public water system will need to provide a project description to Ohio EPA . The eligibility of those activities provided will be reviewed and a determination will be made on  a case-by-case basis by Ohio EPA. Examples of eligible activities include:

  • Activities related to identification and verification of material for the development of a service line inventory. 
  • Activities related to developing a service line asset inventory.
  • Activities related to integrating service line inventory information into a Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • Activities related to the incorporation in the public water system's asset management program for future service line replacement (Lead Service Line Replacement Plan).  

Construction activities are not eligible under this grant.

Grant Application Process

  1. Starting March 28, 2022 through April 30, 2022, submit a complete application meeting the eligibility requirements noted above to Ohio EPA for review.
  2. Once Ohio EPA receives the application it will be reviewed for completeness and the applicant will be notified of its status. Please note: The application requires the PWS's current lead map. This submission will allow the system to meet the lead mapping requirements due to Ohio EPA by December 31, 2022.
  3. Ohio EPA will then review the application for project eligibility. If the project meets the eligibility requirements Ohio EPA will notify the applicant that the proposed project is fundable within 14 business days.
  4. The grantee will have 12-months from the date on the signed grant contract to complete activities and submit close out documentation and the reimbursement form. If needed a 6-month extension can be requested. 
  5. The grantee can submit close out documents and the reimbursement form in accordance with the project schedule. Up to two reimbursement requests can be submitted during the project. Ohio EPA will review documentation for eligibility and process the reimbursement payment through Ohio Supplier Portal.

Application Documents and Guidance 

Questions?

Applicants may contact Ohio EPA staff members with questions throughout the grant process. Please email any questions to DDAGW_LSL_Map_Grant@epa.ohio.gov.

Resources 

U.S. EPA Lead Service Line Identification and Replacement Webinars 

Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative 

American Water Works Association (AWWA) video: Lets Get the Lead Out 

Drinking Water Assistance Fund

Drinking Water Assistance Fund

The Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) includes the Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), Source Water Assessment and Protection program, and technical assistance through the Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP).

Loan documents, forms and instructions (including HAB nomination forms) can be found on the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance webpage.

The WSRLA provides financial assistance for the planning, design and construction of improvements to community water systems and non-profit, non-community public water systems. Below-market interest rates are offered for public health or compliance related infrastructure improvements to public water systems. The pre-application deadline is March 1.

The Disadvantaged Community Loan Program (DCLP) is a sub-section of the WSRLA program. The DCLP provides funding assistance to drinking water systems in need of design, planning and construction improvements. To qualify for assistance, the system must have documented public health issues and have an annual water and sewer rate (cost per household), which is disproportionately high compared to the median household income of the service area. The application deadline is March 1.

Training

Drinking Water Emergency Loan Fund

The Drinking Water Emergency Loan Fund (DWELF) provides emergency loans to public water systems for remediation of a threat of contamination, which means anything that prevents a public water system from supplying adequate quantities of safe, potable water to existing users. Any Ohio public water system with a valid license to operate (LTO) is eligible to apply. A maximum loan of $25,000 may be provided to a single system.

Resources

Asset Management

The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 6109.24 requires all public water systems to implement an asset management program by Oct. 1, 2018. The Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3745-87 are the Asset Management Program rules that outline what is required to be in a public water system's program.  

To help water systems implement these requirements, Ohio EPA is offering interest-free Asset Management Planning loans. Nominations for these loans will be accepted at any time. read more...

Resources

Small Water System Financing Workshop

The following presentations were given by Glenn Barnes from the Environmental Finance Center Network: