February 2019 Vol. 74 No. 2


EPA Awards $187 Million for California Drinking Water, Wastewater Projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded more than $187.3 million to California for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements in mid-December 2018.

Awarded to the state’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, these federal funds are supplemented with state funding sources, which together provide low-interest loans for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects.

“As we deal with an unprecedented demand for clean drinking water, the two State Revolving Fund programs will play a significant role in the State Water Board’s commitment to protect public health and water quality,” said Leslie Laudon, deputy director, California State Water Resources Control Board Division of Financial Assistance.

“The funds will address a variety of crucial needs, from upgrading and consolidating small, struggling water systems to recycling wastewater, recharging groundwater and replenishing drinking water supplies. “Simply put, these funds help make California water safer, more accessible and sustainable as the state faces a variety of daunting challenges in the years ahead.”

The state’s Drinking Water SRF received more than $72.5 million for infrastructure improvements to public water systems including:

• The Indio Water Authority will consolidate two, small, local water systems serving disadvantaged communities into the Indio Water Authority to provide a reliable supply of water that meets drinking water standards.

• The South Tahoe Public Utilities District will install approximately 6,200 linear feet of new waterline and replace approximately 6,200 linear feet of waterline. The program will also include installation of fire hydrants, pressure regulating valves, air release valves, water services, meters, valve clusters, and paving, to provide reliable service to its customers.

• The state’s Clean Water SRF received more than $114.7 million to support projects such as:

• The East Valley Water District and the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District will construct the Sterling Natural Resource Center from the ground up. The treatment plant will use the most advanced technology - membrane bioreactor - to produce tertiary treated, recycled wastewater that meets all applicable requirements to recharge the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin and ensure local supplies of drinking water for the community.

• The City of El Centro will upgrade the wastewater treatment plant’s high-speed aeration blowers. Aeration is an integral part of the treatment process and updating to efficient blowers will reduce the plant’s energy use by 34 percent annually and create significant savings. EPA has awarded more than $5 billion to California’s SRF programs since their inception in 1988 (Clean Water SRF) and 1996 (Drinking Water SRF).

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