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Ohio EPA Assists Lake County with Drinking Water Improvements
Ohio EPA is providing a $672,955 loan to the Lake County Department of Utilities for improvements to the Aquarius Water Treatment Facility.
Aquarius’s raw water comes from Lake Erie and is treated before being distributed to more than 80,000 residents in Eastlake, Willoughby, Willowick, Wickliffe, Willoughby Hills, Lakeline and Timberlake. To protect the drinking water supply from harmful algal blooms, Lake County will use the loan to upgrade the treatment plant’s powder activated carbon and bulk delivery systems.
The 20-year, low-interest loan through Ohio’s Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA) will save the county $258,353 compared to a market-rate loan.
Created in 1998, the WSRLA provides below-market interest rate loans for compliance-related improvements to community water systems and nonprofit, non-community public water systems. Eligible projects include design and construction loans for new, replaced, rehabilitated, upgraded or expanded water treatment plants and their components. In addition, the WSRLA can provide technical assistance to public drinking water systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems.
Ohio EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The loan program is managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with help 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 fund.
More information about the WSRLA 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.