On July 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Pasco City Engineer Dan Ford with its WATERS award in recognition of the city’s substantial upgrades to its drinking water system.
With a $7 million loan from Washington’s Drinking Water State Revolving Loan fund, Pasco recently made significant changes to its system when it replaced milfoil-plagued intakes from the Columbia River with a new intake with a mechanical cleaning system. A 30-foot wide, 85-foot deep caisson was constructed near the existing intake, and was connected to the new intake via micro-tunneling.
To pay for this project Pasco received a DWSRF loan for approximately $7 million at 1.5% interest for 20 years. Compared to other financing available at the time, this DWSRF loan will save Pasco ratepayers approximately $1.3 million in finance charges over the life of the loan.
The WATERS Awards
The EPA Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington) WATERS award program recognizes exceptional drinking water facility improvement projects. WATERS award winners are nominated by state DWSRF staff as projects that help water systems maintain or return to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, as well as achieve one or more elements of the WATERS award:
- Affordability (a smart bargain for utility customers);
- Transferable technologies, ideas and approaches that other communities can also use;
- Efficiency improvements for energy and/or water;
- Resiliency and/or
- Sustainability attributes.
About the DWSRF Program
Created by Congress in 1996, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has provided approximately $20 billion in DWSRF grant funds to approximately 14,800 projects nationwide. Along with state match, repayments and interest earnings, states’ DWSRF grants have provided $38 billion in DWSRF loans, helping to provide clean and safe drinking water to hundreds of millions of U.S. residents.
About the Region 10 DWSRF Program
Over the past 21 years, the EPA Region 10 DWSRF program has been capitalized at a total of $1.2 billion. To date, using those funds, along with state match, repayments and interest earnings, Region 10 states have provided $1.9 billion in DWSRF loans.