8/22/13
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Mike Settles

CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA Assists Akron with Drinking Water Plant Improvements


Ohio EPA is providing two low-interest loans to the city of Akron to improve operations at its water treatment plant. The upgrades will help ensure customers continue to receive a safe and reliable supply of drinking water.

The loans, totaling more than $3.6 million, come from the Ohio Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA). Akron qualified for a low-interest rate of 2 percent, which will save the city more than $1 million over the 20-year life of the loans when compared to the market rate of 4.34 percent.

The larger loan of $2.9 million will allow Akron to install variable frequency drives on the existing high service pumps. The variable drives will use less electricity and reduce stress on the large pump motors.

The second loan of $760,285 will be used to replace the chlorine dioxide generator and delivery system. Four existing chlorine dosing points located throughout the treatment system will be replaced with a single dosing point early in the system.

Both projects are scheduled to begin this summer and be complete within one year.

Started in 1998, the WSRLA 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 (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.

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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.

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