By Patricia Beech –
Two Adams County villages and a local utility company are among nearly two dozen recipients slated to receive low-interest and principal-forgiveness funding from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The funds are earmarked for improving waste water and drinking water infrastructure.
West Union and Manchester have been awarded funding earmarked for improving the villages’ waste-water systems.
Additionally, the Adams County Regional Water District received funding to cover the cost of replacing a waterline along U.S. 52.
Manchester received $185,000 for the design to repair and/or replace the town’s failing sewer system.
Manchester village clerk, Rae Ann Insko, said that the funding allows the village to begin Phase 2 improvements to the town’s wastewater collection system.
“It’s definitely a good thing,” said Insko. “It’s a plus for Manchester anytime we can get a grant or loan that helps us upgrade our infrastructure.”
West Union received $247,346 to design improvements to its existing sewage pump station, and the Adams County Regional Water District (ACRWD) received $54,913 to replace a water line along U.S. Route 52.
According to Rick Adamson, General Manager of ACRWD, ductal piping was originally laid along the south side of State Rte. 52 to carry water.
He said the ductal piping frequently sprang leaks, sending water flowing into the lawns of a nearby subdivision.
“It was costing us money to go out there all the time to repair it so we decided to put in a new piece of line,” Adamson said. “We have about 240 pounds of pressure that pumps about 1,500 gallons of water per minute through those lines and I didn’t want it to blow out and flood the houses, so we put in heavy duty PVC pipe on the north side of 52 so if it does spring a leak it has a chance to spread out before it does any damage.”
Several more southern Ohio communities received a portion of the approximately $8 million in low-interest and principal forgiveness funding.
To help replace failing home sewage treatment systems Vinton County received $120,000 in principal-forgiveness funding, while Athens, Belmont, Gallia, Jefferson, and Pike Counties each received $200,000.
Bridgeport, Twin City Water and Sewer District and Brilliant Water and Sewer District received more than $40,000 for asset management planning.
Perry County received $2.6 million to construct 33 miles of waterline and Zanesville received $1.8 million for water storage tank improvements.
Scioto County received more than $346,000 to construct a new sanitary sewer pumping station and New Boston received $91,717 in design money to separate combined sewers along West Avenue.
Nelsonville in Athens County received more than $955,000 to design a new wastewater treatment plant, and Chesterville in Morgan County received $401,678 to install a hybrid collection system for transporting wastewater.
The lower interest rates and forgiven principal will save these communities more than $4.5 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $374 million in loans, including more than $22 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, the loans will save Ohio communities more than $83.6 million compared to market-rate loans.
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 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 help from the Ohio Water Development Authority.
Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical review/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/EnvironmentalandRinanacialAssistance.aspx