Arizonans can raise a glass to drinking-water improvements, wastewater infrastructure and diminished water pollution, courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent allocation of $25 million for the state’s Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA).
The announcement came recently from the EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional offices in San Francisco. EPA’s support means that Arizona will be able to offer low-cost loans for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects plus funding for novel improvements - particularly in underserved areas - with an emphasis on sustainability.
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program, a federal-state partnership, helps Arizona’s water infrastructure from water treatment and distribution to transmission and storage, while the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), a federal-state partnership, designates funding for publicly owned municipal wastewater system projects to sustain and improve treatment plants, sewer collection systems, water reuse facilities and stormwater infrastructure.
A portion of the funding is earmarked for more extensive initiatives, such as watershed protection, forest refurbishment and floodplains and landscape stormwater management designed to protect against pollution and flood damage, ensure optimum drainage and maintain groundwater health.
“This substantial investment at the federal level helps communities develop the infrastructure needed for clean, safe drinking water and proper wastewater treatment,” EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said. “EPA is committed to protecting the water resources so important to public health and Arizona’s economy.”
Among the projects, WIFA plans to assist the Buckskin Sanitary District near Parker expand collection and treatment and upgrade obsolete septic systems.