Infrastructure improvements boosted by $173.5 million in low-interest loans from EPA

By on February 15, 2018
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Four California water projects have been awarded a total of $173.5 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements. The EPA awarded the State Water Resources Control Board the funds to capitalize its clean water and drinking water State Revolving Fund programs. The federal funds are supplemented with state funding sources to support California’s water infrastructure needs. The recipients will then receive low-interest loans for their infrastructure projects. As money is repaid to the revolving loan fund, California funds other water projects within the state.

Additionally, the EPA has awarded a $1.2 million Special Appropriation Act Project grant to the Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District to replace a deteriorating force main.

“Investing in water infrastructure with our state partners is a priority for the Trump Administration and ensures communities can deliver safe drinking water and wastewater treatment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This funding is critical to supporting public health and environmental goals in California.

The $173.5 million will include $94.8 million for a variety of water infrastructure improvement projects through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund received $77.5 million amongst other, smaller projects. Since the establishment of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund in 1988 and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund in 1996, the EPA has awarded more than $5 billion to these funds to help address some $70.5 billion worth of water infrastructure needs.

The water infrastructure improvement projects will include:

  • An $88 million loan for Monterey One Water to install a new water treatment facility in Monterey County to treat and reclaim agricultural return flows, food processing wastewater, municipal wastewater and urban runoff. The purified water will reduce the amount of water diverted from the Carmel River and help to replenish the Seaside Groundwater Basin and provide water to 105,000 people.
  • A $52.9 million loan, and $4 million in loan forgiveness, for the city of Santa Monica to collect and treat municipal wastewater, stormwater, and impaired groundwater. This project will help the city of 92,478 residents improve beach water quality, increase drought resilience, replenish groundwater supply and reduce the use of imported water.

The $77 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund be used by:

  • The city of Sacramento will install 36,000 meters on residential and commercial water service connections with a $173.1 million loan. Water mains will also be replaced, as needed, as part of the city’s efforts to upgrade 80 miles of water distribution and transmission mains.
  • Loma Rica Water Company (LRWC) in Marysville will replace an existing redwood water tank with a new 36,500-gallon bolted steel tank with a $126,734 loan. This will help in ensuring that the 200 people served by LRWC continue to receive clean drinking water.

The $1.2 million Special Appropriation Act Project grant for the Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District will replace a deteriorating force main — a pressurized sewer pipe that transports wastewater — which crosses the Mare Island Strait. Should the force main fail it has the potential to severely damage the Napa River and adjoining San Pablo Bay. The replacement of the pressurized sewer pipe will provide long-term stability and reliability in conveying wastewater off the island.

More information on the EPA’s State Revolving Fund programs is available at: https://www.epa.gov/drinkingwatersrf and https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf. Additional information on the Special Appropriation Act Project grants is available at: https://www.epa.gov/grants/special-appropriation-act-projects.