EPA announces big WIFIA loan for Nashville’s Metro Water Services

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $315 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Metro Water Services in Nashville, Tennessee. With EPA’s WIFIA loan, Metro Water Services will modernize its infrastructure to provide safe, reliable drinking water to its growing service area.

“Metro Water Services is investing in their city’s future by expanding drinking water capacity and increasing resiliency – all while creating jobs and saving ratepayers money,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “This WIFIA loan will fund the installation of a new filtration to address vital emerging contaminates, like PFAS, so that drinking water is safe for every person in Nashville.”

The Process Advancements at Omohundro and K.R. Harrington Water Treatment Plants Project in Nashville, Tennessee, will modernize two aging treatment plants that are increasingly subject to flood risk and need to accommodate growing demand for drinking water. Metro Water Services will install a new filtration system to address emerging contaminants, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, Metro Water Services will undertake a series of other improvements that will increase overall treatment capacity by 50 percent, mitigate flood risk, add finished water storage capacity, and protect against power failures by installing generators as a backup power source.

“We are grateful to the EPA for awarding this WIFIA loan to Metro Water Services. The process advancement projects at Omohundro and K.R. Harrington Water Treatment plants are the result of many years of strategic, long-term planning, and this WIFIA loans marks a milestone making these plans a reality for our community,” said Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter. “Proper investment in infrastructure is necessary to ensure Nashville’s ability to provide safe, clean and reliable water and waste services to our community now and in the future. The process advancements projects funded by WIFIA allows MWS to proactively address aging infrastructure, expand capacity, reduce flood risk and incorporate the use of new treatment technologies for enhanced water quality at our water treatment facilities – preparing them for the next generation.” 

By engaging with the WIFIA program early in the design stage, Metro Water Services secured funding certainty to enable these proactive system improvements. As a result of the program’s flexibility and competitive rates, Metro Water Services will save approximately $61.5 million by financing with a WIFIA loan. Construction is expected to be completed in 2028 and construction and operation are estimated to create over 1,000 jobs.

Learn more about EPA’s WIFIA program.

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. The WIFIA program’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. 

The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. With this WIFIA loan closing, EPA has announced 92 WIFIA loans that are providing nearly $16 billion in credit assistance to help finance $34 billion for water infrastructure while creating over 103,000 jobs and saving ratepayers nearly $5.5 billion.

EPA is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. In June, EPA announced the availability of $5.5 billion under the 2022 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability and an additional $1 billion under the State Infrastructure Financing Authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. Together, this newly available funding will support more than $13 billion in water infrastructure projects while creating more than 40,000 jobs. Learn more about submitting a letter of interest for a WIFIA or SWIFIA loan.

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