MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Lauer

Defiance Project Receives Ohio EPA Loan for Water Quality and Public Health Improvement

The city of Defiance will receive a low-interest loan from Ohio EPA to help evaluate the best way to improve its sewer system and wastewater treatment plant’s performance during wet weather.

Like many municipalities, Defiance has sanitary sewers that also receive flow from its storm sewers. During wet weather, rainwater and snow melt can fill up storm sewers designed to move precipitation to area rivers. When the storm sewer pipes fill up, there are certain places in the system where they overflow into the sanitary system. This extra water creates problems at the wastewater treatment plant that was not designed to treat the combined rain/waste in the volume that comes through, as well as producing overflows of untreated wastewater from the sewers into local streams.

An analysis of the entire sewer system and the wastewater treatment plant will provide options for what Defiance can cost effectively do to avoid having to discharge untreated waste into area rivers.

Since 1989, Ohio EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) has awarded more than $6  billion in below-market financing for sewage treatment plant upgrades and other water quality improvement projects. The program has saved borrowers more than $1.1 billion in interest.  Low-interest loans also have been provided to municipalities and individuals for agricultural best management practices; home sewage system improvements; contaminated site cleanup; and landfill closures.  Additionally, the WPCLF can provide technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems.

This state revolving loan fund is partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds.  The loan program is managed by Ohio EPA, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority.  Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination and environmental reviews of projects seeking funds.  The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.


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. In the past 40 years, 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. Ohio EPA -- 40 years and moving forward.