Florida DEP Awards $4 Million for Clean Water Projects

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has awarded more than $4 million in low-interest loans to six Florida communities for planning and design phases of clean water projects. Due to recent rule changes, the state's Clean Water State Revolving Fund now offers loans to assist with necessary pre-construction activities such as evaluation studies, developing planning documents, design work and permitting costs for wastewater and stormwater treatment systems.

"We are pleased to be able to now offer local governments funding for planning and design as well as construction," says Trina Vielhauer, director of the Division of Water Restoration Assistance. "These loans can help communities get projects started that may never have happened without this financial assistance."

Recent CWSRF planning and design loan recipients include the following communities:

Arcadia: Awarded a $1 million planning loan to conduct a sanitary sewer evaluation study that will identify inflow and infiltration issues within the town's sewer collection and transmission system and develop a facility plan to correct the issues.

Blountstown: Awarded a $1.2 million planning loan to develop a planning document and acquire property for a spray field for land application of treated wastewater. When completed, this project will eliminate surface water discharge to Sutton Creek, a tributary of the Apalachicola River. 

Green Cove Springs: Awarded a $334,500 planning loan to develop a facility plan to design and construct a new advanced wastewater treatment facility and expand the town's reuse system.

Hallandale Beach: Awarded a $550,000 planning loan to conduct a sanitary sewer evaluation study that will determine sources of inflow and infiltration issues in the city's collection system. The study will be used to identify points of excessive inflow and infiltration and where rehabilitation or replacement of sewer systems is needed.

Jasper: Awarded a $20,000 planning loan to develop a planning document that will evaluate alternatives to the town's surface water discharge. The loan will help Jasper eliminate surface water discharge from their wastewater treatment facility as required by a consent order.

Springfield: Awarded a $919,000 design loan for preparation of plans, specifications and bid documents as well as costs associated with obtaining necessary permits for rehabilitating portions of the city's existing wastewater collection system and constructing a new collection system. When completed, this project will reduce the amount of inflow and infiltration entering the city's collection system.

A benefit of CWSRF loans for projects that help small and financially disadvantaged communities is that a significant amount of the loan does not need to be paid back by the community. More than $2 million of the projects listed above requires no repayment.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program (CWSRF) has awarded about $1.1 billion in funding for about 120 wastewater and stormwater improvement projects during the past five years for a total of $4 billion in loan funds since its inception in 1989. The program is funded by federal grants, state matching funds, loan repayments and interest earnings. For more information, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/waterprojectfunding/.


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