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Ohio EPA Assists City of Cleveland with Drinking Water System Improvements
Ohio EPA is providing a low-interest loan to the city of Cleveland to replace nearly 10,000 feet of aging and undersized water mains in its drinking water distribution system. Once complete, the project will reduce the number of line breaks and increase water pressure for customers in and around Shaker Heights.
The $2.2 million loan comes from the Ohio Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA). Cleveland qualified for a low-interest rate of 1.88 percent, which will save the city an estimated $605,000 over the 20-year life of the loan when compared to the market rate.
Started in 1998, the WSRLA has provided more than $900 million in loans with below-market interest rates for compliance-related improvements to public water systems. The program has saved public water systems more than $158 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 managed by Ohio EPA, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA). Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental reviews of projects seeking funds. The OWDA 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.