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Southeast Ohio Communities Receive $52 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure
Communities in Southeast Ohio are receiving a total of $52 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 Jan. 1 and June 30, 2020.
The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $20.3 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $466.5 million in loans during the first half of the year, including $25.5 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $90.9 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. The loans include funds to 18 counties to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing home septic systems; these loans do not have to be repaid.
For the first half of 2020, the following Southeast Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Jefferson County is receiving $5.4 million to construct a wastewater collection system and an extended aeration package plan to serve Amsterdam and adjacent areas. The loan includes $980,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Mingo Junction is receiving $6 million for the combined sewer overflow separation project phase 1 & 2. The loans include $50,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Jackson is receiving $643,000 to install new sanitary sewer lines in the Parkview/Main Street areas to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows.
- Caldwell is receiving $560,000 to separate the sanitary sewer from the combined storm sewer to eliminate sources of inflow and infiltration and conduct smoke and dye testing.
- New Concord is receiving $157,000 to install a backup generator at the wastewater treatment plant. The loan includes $50,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Wintersville is receiving $2.1 million to rehabilitate the sanitary sewer system, six pump stations, and electrical work.
- Cadiz is receiving $3.4 million to design replacement sanitary sewer lines and optimize the water treatment plant for harmful algal bloom treatment. The loan includes $1.3 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Athens is receiving $1.4 million to design and construct a regional sewer service, a more efficient and cost-effective sewage conveyance and treatment process, and handling of biosolids.
- West Union is receiving $321,000 for the design to eliminate household sewage treatment systems and connect 60 homes and businesses to the West Union sewer system.
- Piketon is receiving $130,000 for planning to make upgrades to the Piketon Wastewater Treatment Plant and construct a new service building.
- Manchester is receiving $132,000 for the design to eliminate the sanitary sewer system and make upgrades to the collection system.
- Steubenville is receiving $1.5 million to purchase and install flow monitors in the collection system, development of a hydraulic model, development of a wet weather improvement plan to mitigate combined service overflows, and the design of new combined sewers.
- Washington County is receiving $561,000 to complete a general plan and design work to replace the sanitary sewer system in Devola.
- Leading Creek Conservancy District is receiving $6.9 million to replace the existing water line with a new 14-inch high density polyethylene raw water main. The loan includes $780,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Muskingum County is receiving $4.1 million to extend water lines in Union Township and the village of Roseville. The loans include $1.1 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Coshocton is receiving $6 million to connect a waterline from West Lafayette to Coshocton and replace undersized water mains in West Lafayette. H2Ohio also provided $500,000 in grant funding for this project. The loan includes $3 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Somerset is receiving $67,000 to design water system improvements for water line replacement, upgrades to the water treatment plant, and tank repainting.
- Scioto Water Inc. is receiving $558,000 for the installation of filters and sludge bagging facilities.
- Jewett is receiving $1 million to rehabilitate the water treatment plant, including disinfecting wells, replacing well pumps, and demolishing the old reaction tank. The loan includes $500,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Logan is receiving $152,000 to replace portions of the city’s water distribution system that is causing water loss.
- Coal Grove is receiving $4.5 million to replace all water lines within the township. The loan includes $1.9 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Pomeroy is receiving $455,000 to replace water meters.
- Sunday Creek Valley Water is receiving $1.3 million to construct waterline replacements and upgrades to the Oregon Ridge Pump Station. The loan includes $600,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Pike Water Inc. is receiving $246,000 to install 65,000 linear feet of waterline. H2Ohio also provided $1 million in grant funding for this project.
- Tuscarawas is receiving $171,000 to install a new filtration system, install new meters coming from wells, and increase storage capacity.
- Middleport is receiving $240,000 to replace water mains and services and make improvements to wells.
- Hopedale is receiving $101,000 to design the replacement of two aging water tanks.
- Appalachia Ohio Alliance is receiving $854,000 to protect 177 acres of upland forest and forest buffer, including 350 linear feet of the South Fork of the East Branch Queer Creek and 3,470 linear feet of cold-water habitat streams. The funding is from the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP). Through the WRRSP, the city of Akron is directing a portion of the interest to be repaid on its WRF Headworks Improvements project loan be used for the restoration project.
- Health Departments, Districts, and County Commissioners in the following counties are each receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans for the repair and replacement of household sewage treatment systems: Athens, Belmont, Gallia, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Morgan, Muskingum, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, and Washington.
- Coshocton County, Meigs County General Health District, and Vinton County each are receiving $100,000 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.