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Westerville Receives Ohio EPA Loan to Upgrade Water Treatment Plant
Ohio EPA has issued a $13.5 million loan to Westerville to help upgrade the city’s water treatment plant. The project is expected to improve water quality for customers and enhance existing water treatment facilities.
As part of the loan from Ohio’s Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), the city qualifies for an interest rate of 2.59 percent, which should save an estimated $3 million over the 20-year life of the loan when compared to the market rate.
The city will install granular activated carbon pressure filters for secondary filtration and adsorption of organics; replace chlorine gas with sodium hypochlorite for safety reasons; replace a rotating intake screen; upgrade chemical storage and feeding; and make building improvements that include operator control room offices and a meeting room.
The project is expected to help Westerville ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, particularly in regards to treating surface water and addressing disinfection byproducts. The plant upgrades also will minimize the potential risk to public health from emerging contaminants.
Started in 1998, the Ohio Water Supply Revolving Loan Account has provided more than $1 billion in loans with below-market interest rates for compliance-related improvements to public water systems. The program has saved public water systems more than $175 million in interest. Additionally, the WSRLA can provide technical assistance to public water 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 jointly managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance and Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, 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.