Florida DEP announces SRF money for water quality projects


The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs recently committed nearly $200 million in low-interest loans and grants for 45 statewide clean water and drinking water projects. Both funding programs include grants and loans for planning, designing and constructing water systems.

“We are pleased to allocate state revolving funds for vital projects such as upgrades to wastewater, stormwater and drinking water treatment facilities, and rehabilitation of aging infrastructure,” said Trina Vielhauer, director of the Division of Water Restoration Assistance. “Approximately $100 million is still available in state revolving fund loans and grants for interested communities with eligible clean water and drinking water projects.”

Approximately $138 million in Clean Water State Revolving Funds is allocated for various clean water projects around the state, including Apopka, Bowling Green, Bradenton, Branford, Cape Coral, Clay County Utility Authority, Clewiston, Daytona Beach, El Portal, Florida Governmental Utility Authority (Chuluota), Fort Myers Beach, Gateway Service Community Development District in Fort Myers, Lake Wales, Longwood, Mulberry, Orlando, Parker, Polk City, Sarasota, St. Johns County, St. Petersburg, Tavares, Umatilla, Walton/Okaloosa/Santa Rosa Regional Utility Authority and Wauchula. Eligible projects include wastewater, stormwater, reclaimed water and certain energy projects. Examples of these CWSRF projects include:

Clay County Utility Authority will be awarded a $14.1 million loan for Phase I of the construction of new wastewater processes at the existing 0.65 million gallon per day Mid-Clay wastewater treatment facility, which will ultimately increase capacity by
3 million gallons per day.

El Portal, in Miami-Dade County, will be awarded more than $600,000 for design and planning loans for two projects. The first project is to design a central collection system for the Village of El Portal to connect approximately 800 homes currently served by septic systems to Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Authority’s centralized collection system. The second project is the development of a master stormwater plan for the Village to improve water quality in West Little River, which flows into Biscayne Bay, as well as help address flooding issues. An accompanying Small Community Wastewater Grant will cover $348,000 of the design loan.

Fort Myers Beach will be awarded a $5.5 million loan for the installation and rehabilitation of a stormwater management system. This project will improve water quality in Estero Bay by providing treatment ponds to capture and treat stormwater prior to discharging to the bay.

Approximately $52 million in Drinking Water State Revolving Funds is allocated for various drinking water projects around the state, including Big Bend Water Authority, Bonifay, Bowling Green, Cape Coral, Charlotte County, Dade City, Davenport, Destin Water Users, Inc., Dunedin, Jackson County, Jennings, Lake Worth, Lemon Bluff Water Association, North Miami, Palatka, Polk Regional Water Cooperative, Sanford and Springfield. Eligible projects include drinking water, water supply and certain reclaimed water projects. Examples of these DWSRF projects include:

Destin Water Users, Inc. will be awarded a $2.3 million construction loan for the construction of new water storage tanks in the western and northeastern portions of the utility’s service area, as well as replacement of one of their older supply wells. The upgraded storage capacity of 1.25 million gallons per day will help the utility meet its finished water storage needs.

Jennings will be awarded over $200,000 for a construction loan to rehabilitate the existing elevated storage tank to correct public health and safety issues noted by the Department’s permitting office.

Polk Regional Water Cooperative will be awarded a $11.5 million loan for planning the future water supply of Polk County through the Polk Regional Water Cooperative, which includes the communities of Auburndale, Bartow, Winter Haven, Mulberry, Lakeland, Haines City and others. Planning activities include development of a deep well lower Floridan wellfield, preliminary design of water treatment plant for brackish water treatment and pipelines to convey water, and strategic planning of surface water storage areas and aquifer recharge sites.

A benefit for projects funded by the State Revolving Fund loan programs is that a significant portion of the loans do not need to be repaid by small and financially disadvantaged communities, helping them accomplish vital projects to provide clean drinking water and improve natural resources. More than $13 million of the total loan amounts for 2017-18 projects requires no repayment.

For this fiscal year, approximately $100 million remains for eligible CWSRF and DWSRF projects, to be obligated at future public listing meetings held quarterly. Approximately $39 million of these remaining funds may be obligated as a portion of loans that requires no repayment for qualifying financially disadvantaged communities.

The first step for a project to be considered for listing at an upcoming public meeting is for communities to submit a completed request for inclusion, which is available on the SRF website. Once a project is placed on the funding list, the project sponsor, which is the water utility, city or county government or special district, can then submit a loan application to the SRF program in order to receive the funds. The next public listing meeting will be held Nov. 8, 2017.

The state’s CWSRF and DWSRF programs combined have awarded more than
$5 billion in funding since their inception. The programs are funded by federal grants, state matching funds, loan repayments and interest earnings.

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