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Upper Sandusky Eliminating Sewer Overflows; Receives Financing from Ohio EPA
Upper Sandusky is receiving an interest-free loan from Ohio EPA to plan an upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant to treat additional wet weather flows and eliminate discharges of sanitary sewage mixed with storm water. The city’s project is one of 25 projects statewide that received funding in July, totaling $475 million, a one-month record for the loan programs.
The project will plan hydraulic upgrades to treat additional storm water flows at the treatment plant. Combined with other projects to separate sanitary and storm sewers, Upper Sandusky will eliminate routine combined sewer overflows to area streams. Eliminating sewer overflows will reduce potential threats to human health and will improve water quality in the Sandusky River.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. With the interest-free $175,000 loan, the city will save an estimated $16,000 compared to a market-rate loan.
In addition to improvements to publicly owned treatment works, WPCLF loans have been provided for agricultural best management practices, home sewage system improvements, landfill closures and water quality-based storm water projects. The WPCLF provides 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. 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 EPA’s revolving loan funds are 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’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 fund.
More information about the WPCLF is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.
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. Since then, 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.