The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last month that it has awarded $187.3 million to more than 180 California drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout the state. The federal funds will be jointly shared by California’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs (SRFs) — and will also be supplemented with state funding sources.

The EPA has awarded over $5 billion to California’s Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs since their inception in 1988 and 1996, respectively. These funds support the state’s efforts to address an estimated $70.5 billion of water infrastructure needs.

“These funds will be used for 183 local projects that will boost the economy while improving water systems,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker.

“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 of the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Financial Assistance. “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.”

California’s Clean Water SRF will use over $114.7 million for a variety of water infrastructure improvement projects, including:

  • San Bernardino County: 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 to produce treated, recycled wastewater that meets all applicable requirements to recharge the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin thereby ensuring local supplies of drinking water for the community.
  • Imperial County: The City of El Centro will upgrade its wastewater treatment plant’s high-speed aeration blowers. As an integral part of the treatment process, the new energy-efficient blowers will reduce the plant’s energy use by 34% annually and create significant savings.

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

  • Riverside County: 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.

Source:  California Water News Daily