9/19/13
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Mike Settles
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA Assists Akron with Sewer Line and Drinking Water Improvements

Ohio EPA is providing two low-interest loans totaling more than $6.9 million to the city of Akron to repair the city’s main sewer line and replace aging water mains, valves and hydrants. The upgrades will help ensure customers continue to receive safe and reliable sanitary sewer and drinking water services.

A loan of $6.1 million will be used to repair manholes and install cured-in-place piping inside the main trunk sewer that connects to the Mud Run Pump Station. Lining the sewer will significantly reduce infiltration and inflow into this old sewer during rain events and, as a result, also will reduce overflows at the pump station. The loan comes from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF).

A second loan of $831,284 will be used to replace water mains, valves and hydrants along streets where customers have reported frequent breaks or concerns with drinking water quality. The loan comes from the Ohio Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA).

Combined, the 20-year loans will save the city more than $1.6 million in interest payments when compared to market rate loans. Construction on both projects should be complete by Sept. 2014.

Since 1989, the 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.

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 $243 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.

The programs are 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.

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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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