Central Ohio Communities Receive $135 Million in Financing From Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure

Communities in Central Ohio are receiving more than $135 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. Funding infrastructure projects and improving water quality across the state continues to be a priority of Governor Mike DeWine’s administration. These loans (financed through the state’s revolving fund) were approved between April 1 and June 30, 2022. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $20 million.

“Reliable water infrastructure is critical to the quality of life for Ohio residents and for economic development, which is why my administration has put a great deal of focus on helping communities with their water needs,” said Governor DeWine. “With this support, more communities all over the state will make important system upgrades to ensure that drinking water is clean and that water infrastructure is dependable.”

Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $436.4 million in loans during the second quarter of 2022, including more than $9 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save approximately $71.9 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 second quarter of 2022, the following Central Ohio projects are receiving funding:

  • Columbus is receiving approximately $47.1 million for nine projects. The projects include constructing an extension for existing sanitary sewers and providing new residential sanitary service taps for 20 homes along Meeklynn Drive, constructing a sanitary relief sewer as part of the Third Avenue Relief Sewer project, and redirecting roof laterals of homes within the North Linden 1 project area. Other projects include constructing more than 10,000 feet of new water mains, fire hydrants, and valves in the Edsel Avenue and Weyant Avenue areas. This financing package also will help with renovating the water quality assurance lab, rehabilitating existing sanitary/combined sewers, and providing new sanitary sewer service into several developed, unsewered areas currently being serviced by on-lot systems.
  • Circleville is receiving approximately $42.4 million to construct wastewater treatment plant improvements, including a new aeration tank, septage receiving station, and a new equalization basin. Upgrades to the city’s wastewater infrastructure help protect public health and improve water quality in receiving streams. The loan includes $50,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
  • Appalachia Ohio Alliance is receiving approximately $3.5 million for three projects that include acquiring and protecting 310 acres that contain approximately 4,900 linear feet of Scioto River mainstem, approximately 3,400 linear feet of Walnut Creek, and enhance approximately 100 acres of wetlands, and acquiring and protecting 53 acres of riparian habitat along Salt Creek and Laurel Run.
  • Granville is receiving approximately $843,000 to upgrade the community’s water plant for more efficient treatment of finished drinking water. Waste streams from the plant also will be improved and a water storage tank with be replaced with a new, glass-lined, low maintenance tank.
  • Franklin County is receiving approximately $414,000 to design an extension of sanitary sewer collections system services within and throughout the North Hague Avenue area in Franklin Township. Upgrades to wastewater infrastructure help protect public health and improve water quality in receiving streams.
  • Canal Winchester is receiving $269,000 to plan and design improvements to influent screening, grit removal, and pumping at the wastewater treatment plant. Upgrades to wastewater infrastructure help protect public health and improve water quality in receiving streams.
  • Health Departments, Districts, and County Commissions in the following counties and cities are receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans for the repair and replacement of low-income property owner’s household sewage treatment systems: Columbus, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties.

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 storm water, 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 also make possible the restoration and protection of 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, and 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.