11/24/21
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Heather Lauer

Northwest Ohio Communities Receive $41.6 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements

$156 Million in Low-Interest Loans Awarded Statewide in the Third Quarter of 2021

Communities in Northwest Ohio are receiving more than $41.6 million in low-interest rate and principal forgiveness funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2021. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $10.8 million.

Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $156 million in loans during the third quarter of 2021, including more than $12.6 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save approximately $34 million when compared to market-rate loans. The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems. This funding includes assistance to local health districts to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems.

For the third quarter of 2021, the following Northwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:

  • Wapakoneta is receiving $23.5 million to convert the drinking water treatment plant from an ion exchange system to a lime softening system to reduce the total dissolved solids loading to the wastewater treatment plant. The conversion project will provide safe drinking water to the city residents while also protecting water quality in local streams, rivers, and lakes.
  • Ottawa is receiving $8.27 million to improve the city’s drinking water treatment plant building’s interior and exterior, including measures to help address the potential impact of harmful algal blooms on the water system. This loan includes $3.78 million in principal forgiveness, which does not have to be repaid.
  • North Baltimore is receiving $2.67 million to construct a new elevated water tank and replace both public and private lead service lines in the village's water distribution system. The loan includes $56,500 in principal forgiveness, which does not have to be repaid.
  • Swanton is receiving $2.26 million to separate combined sewers on Mettabrook Drive, Garfield Avenue, Sanderson Avenue, Allen Street, and West Street.
  • Greenwich is receiving $1.98 million for phase 1 of its combined sewer overflow reduction project. This part of the project will install new sanitary sewer line that will transport sewage directly to the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Elida is receiving $928,818 to construct a new ground-level drinking water storage tank and booster pump station to replace the current system.
  • Ohio City is receiving $833,930 for a project to line the sanitary sewer lines in areas with known stormwater inflow and infiltration and to replace the sewer line along Williams Street on the west side of the village of Ohio City. All of this loan is principal forgiveness and does not have to be repaid.
  • Monroeville is receiving $687,059 to replace an existing waterline along U.S. 20. The project includes installation of the waterline with new valves, hydrants, service lines, water meters, and meter pits.
  • New London is receiving $25,338 for project design. The project will replace approximately 200 lead or galvanized service lines from the main line to the inside wall or interior shutoff valve of customers’ homes.
  • Fulton County Health Department, Henry County, and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department are each receiving $150,000 principal forgiveness loans to repair or replace household sewage treatment systems.

Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), started in 1998, provides loans for improvements to community drinking water systems and nonprofit, noncommunity public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to a market-rate loan.

Ohio EPA’s state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage stormwater, address combined sewer overflows, and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design, and construction activities, and enhances the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans make restoration and protection possible for some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.

Ohio’s SRF loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are 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, environmental, and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the SRF funds.

More information about the SRF loan program is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.

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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. 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.

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