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Communities in Northwest Ohio are receiving more than $28 million in low-interest rate 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 March 31, 2021. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities $4.6 million.

Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $370 million in loans during the first quarter of 2021, including $6.75 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $57 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.

For the first quarter of 2021, the following Northwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:

Allen County, Crawford County General Health District, Richland County, and Seneca County General Health District are each receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans to repair and replace household sewage treatment systems. Marion County Public Health is receiving a $100,000 principal forgiveness loan to replace or repair household sewage treatment systems.

Defiance is receiving a $9.9 million loan to construct a new granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration facility at the drinking water treatment plant. The facility will be able to treat up to 8 million gallons of water a day to aid treatment for contaminants from harmful algal blooms. The improvements also will help control disinfection byproducts in the city’s distribution system and adjacent communities served by the city. The facility will be located within a new building at the water treatment plant.< > is receiving $5.97 million to design an expansion and upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant. The project will eliminate sanitary sewer overflows and reduce combined sewer overflows to less than four per year during storm conditions. The increased capacity is needed due to the treatment plant operating at more than 80 percent capacity.

Erie County is receiving $5.46 million for the Mitiwanga Regional pump station project. The project includes demolition of an aged wastewater treatment plant and replacing it with a wastewater pumping station designed to take wastewater to the Huron Basin wastewater system. The project also will reduce sanitary sewer overflows.

Whitehouse is receiving $3.03 million to construct a new 24-inch gravity sewer that will eliminate the need for a local pump station along the Wabash Cannonball Trail interceptor sewer.

Northwestern Water and Sewer District is receiving $1.12 million to replace approximately 5,000 linear feet of sanitary sewer mains and laterals in the village of McComb.

Cloverdale is receiving $902,250 to construct a new sewer system throughout the village that will become part of a regional wastewater system with Dupont.

Port Clinton is receiving two loans for separate projects. A $457,648 loan is to design a project to replace main and secondary water lines. A $383,475 loan is for the preliminary design of sanitary sewer, storm sewer, waterline, and associated planning improvements.

Morral is receiving $332,980 to design a sanitary sewer system for the village.

Cridersville is receiving $65,400 to design a project that will replace the sanitary sewer between Rail Road and South Dixie Highway, and replace a sewer main along South Dixie south of East Main.

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, non-community public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to market-rate loans. 

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 stormwater, 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.

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