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Akron to Improve Sewer System with Two Project Loans from Ohio EPA; Will Save Akron an Estimated $20 Million
Ohio EPA has approved two loans for the city of Akron, an almost $7.4 million loan, and a $47.5 million loan, to assist in constructing the Old Main sewer separation and upgrade the water treatment process to help bring the city into compliance while improving the water quality of the Little Cuyahoga and Cuyahoga Rivers.
For the first project, Akron will eliminate combined sewer overflows from CSO Rack 21 drainage area by constructing new separate storm and sanitary sewers. Akron will rehabilitate existing sewers to ensure the structural and hydraulic integrity has been restored. In addition, two storm water quality devices will be installed that remove sediment, oil and debris from the storm water line. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2018.
The second project involves refurbishing the final settling tanks for the secondary water treatment process at the Akron Water Reclamation Facility. This will increase the secondary treatment capacity to 220 million gallons per day. The upgrade will allow Akron to effectively treat wet-weather overflows leading to significant reductions in rainwater overflow events into the Cuyahoga River, improving water quality and reducing the public health threat.
Created in 1989, WPCLF has provided below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their sewer systems. The reduced interest rate on the combined $55 million loans, will save Akron an estimated $20 million.
In addition to sewer system improvements, WPCLF loans have been provided for agricultural best management practices, home sewage system improvements, landfill closures and water quality-based storm water projects. The WPCLF provides technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas, from planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the systems’ technical, managerial and financial capacity. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.
Ohio EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investment 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 (OWDA). Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination and environmental and other technical reviews or approvals of projects seeking funds. OWDA provides financial management of the fund.
More information about the WPCLF is available at: www.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.