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Euclid Receives Over $107 Million in Loans for Wastewater Upgrades from Ohio EPA
Euclid will improve a sanitary sewer line, purchase a wastewater bioreactor for 2016 installation and construct new wastewater treatment plant upgrades as part of its ongoing program to prevent sewer overflows and produce cleaner water discharges to Lake Erie. The city is financing these projects with low-interest loans from Ohio EPA.
- One loan will fund lining and rehabilitation of an old sanitary sewer main line, eliminating sanitary sewer overflows on Edgecliff Drive. The updates will alleviate a health threat posed from basement sewage backups, while reducing sewer overflows to Lake Erie. These overflow improvements will reduce potential bacterial contamination of nearby Lake Erie bathing beaches. The project is expected be complete by July 2016;
- A second loan will allow the purchase of a membrane bioreactor for later installation at the wastewater treatment plant. This major treatment system upgrade will enable the plant to better handle large volumes of sewage, further reducing sources of harmful bacteria that lead to health risks and water quality problems. The bioreactor filtering system will also improve water quality by allowing the city to remove significant amounts of phosphorus and other nutrients that can contribute to Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs); and
- The most recent loan will help prepare the existing wastewater treatment plant for membrane bioreactor installation with significant component upgrades, including the addition of a new headworks complex and a major wet-weather flow storage (equalization) basin.
- In addition, a $15.7 million loan was obtained by Euclid in March to fund relocation of a major storm sewer and major changes to the main electrical substation.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. In addition, Ohio EPA is offering $100 million in zero-interest loans this year, through the WPCLF, to help wastewater systems reduce the levels of phosphorus and other nutrient discharges that can contribute to HABs. The reduced/zero percent interest rate on over $107 million in loans will save Euclid over $21.2 million, compared to conventional market-rate loans.
Along with improvements to publicly owned treatment works, 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 technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP).
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 WPCLF 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.