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Southeast Ohio Communities Receive $18.1 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure
Communities in Southeast Ohio are receiving a total of $18.1 million in low-interest and principal forgiveness funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $10.9 million.
Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $122.9 million in loans during the third quarter of 2020, including $11.4 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $28 million when compared to market-rate loans. The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems. This funding includes assistance to local health districts to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems. Thus far for 2020, Ohio EPA has awarded assistance for home septic treatment to 75 counties and communities throughout the state.
For the third quarter of 2020, the following Southeast Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- West Union is receiving $2.6 million to connect 22 homes to the West Union sewer system. The loan includes $2.6 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Pike Water Inc. is receiving $246,800 to install 65,000 linear feet of waterline to provide water to 115 customers currently without water. Additionally, Pike Water Inc. is receiving $1 million in H2Ohio funding for this project.
- Somerset is receiving $636,000 to replace waterlines, upgrade the water treatment plant, and repaint the tank.
- Cadiz is receiving $3 million to make improvements to the settling tank and sludge collector, reinstate the re-carbonation system, and make improvements to the filter and backwash. The loan includes $1.3 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Portersville East Branch Water Company is receiving $356,000 to replace the water booster station on Township Road 463.
- Hopedale is receiving $101,000 to design the replacement of two aging water tanks and install a booster pump station to increase the pressure into the proposed water storage tanks.
- Zanesville is receiving $800,000 to replace the existing sanitary sewer lift station with a new package submersible pump station, site improvements, and a force main.
- Gnadenhutten is receiving $129,000 to design the upgrade of the headworks at the wastewater treatment plant.
- Scioto County is receiving $1.2 million to reline the existing 24-inch concrete sewer and manholes that run from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility to the Lucasville Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- Marietta is receiving $1.2 million to replace and upgrade the aeration system, which will include new high efficiency blowers, fine bubble diffusers, and instrumentation and control systems.
- Southern Perry County Water District is receiving $461,000 to construct a waterline extension to 95 customers on Mainesville Road.
- Bolivar is receiving $1 million to install water meters throughout the Bolivar water distribution system.
- Chesterhill is receiving $4.8 million to construct a hybrid collection system with a lift station transporting wastewater to Stockport. The loan includes $4 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Piketon is receiving $761,000 to design upgrades to the Piketon Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- South Point is receiving $100,000 to design the replacement of water lines to reduce breaks and water loss, and to meet the demands of the growing water distribution system.
- Scio is receiving $99,000 to design the replacement of approximately 6,000 linear feet of water lines and the lead service connections to homes.
- Nelsonville is receiving $200,000 to design the replacement or relocation of water lines, upgrade the water meter system, and make water system improvements.
- Lowell is receiving $28,000 to design the replacement of old water lines.
- Monroe County is receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans for the repair and replacement of household sewage treatment systems.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), started in 1998, provides loans for improvements to community drinking water systems and nonprofit, noncommunity public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to a market-rate loan.
Ohio EPA’s state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage storm water, address combined sewer overflows, and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design, and construction activities and enhances 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.
Ohio’s SRF loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with assistance 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 SRF funds.
More information about the SRF loan program 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.