PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Darla Peelle
Celina Building Water Tower with Funding from Ohio EPA
The City of Celina will build a new water tower to replace an aging tank and increase potable water storage for the community. The project is being financed with an interest-free loan from Ohio EPA.
The city is building a one-million gallon elevated water tower in the industrial park and demolishing an existing elevated storage tank that is deteriorated due to age. The new tank will provide additional potable water storage for the community, which uses Grand Lake St. Marys as a source of drinking water.
The new tank also will ensure adequate water pressure in the distribution system, provide adequate water for fire protection and periods of service interruption and provide capacity to meet future increases in water demand. Construction is expected to be completed in July 2016.
Ohio EPA is offering $50 million in zero-interest loans this year to drinking water plants for upgrades and back-up water sources to address harmful algal blooms (HABs). Preference is given to water systems in the Lake Erie watershed and those systems that have experienced an algal bloom or a detection of chemicals such as microcystin. Qualifying projects include components that treat for chemicals produced by harmful algal blooms, as well as projects that implement avoidance strategies such as interconnections with other water supplies, new elevated storage facilities and installation of alternative sources of water.
Ohio EPA also is making available $1 million in new grants for public water systems to obtain the laboratory equipment, supplies and training needed to test for microcystin and other cyanotoxins that are products of algal blooms. Public water systems that use a surface water source are eligible for the funding, up to $30,000 per system.
Created in 1998, the Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA) provides below-market interest rate loans for compliance-related improvements for community water systems and non-profit, non-community public water systems. The interest-free rate on Celina’s $2.359 million loan will save the city $888,000 compared to a conventional, market-rate loan.
Projects eligible for WSRLA funding include design and construction loans for new, replaced, rehabilitated, upgraded or expanded water treatment plants and their components. In addition, the WSRLA can provide technical assistance to public drinking 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.
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 WSRLA is managed jointly 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 and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.
More information about the WSRLA is available at: http://epa.ohio.gov/ddagw/financialassistance.aspx#113402734-drinking-water-assistance-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. 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.