DEP Awards $58 Million in Loans to Orange County for Expansion of Water Reclamation Facility
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is providing an additional $30 million loan to Orange County, bringing the total to more than $58 million, to expand its Eastern Water Reclamation Facility.
“Projects like these are important to supporting our state’s growing economy and protecting our water resources by reducing wasted drinking water and increasing water reuse,” said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson.
Pre-construction for this project began in 2013 and construction is anticipated to be completed by May 2018. The expanded facility will protect Florida’s valuable drinking water supplies, reduce the environmental impact caused by wastewater and bring in millions of dollars to Central Florida’s economy as construction continues and domestically manufactured products are purchased as part of the expansion. Moreover, Florida’s recently revised CWSRF loans offer lower interest rates, 1.9 percent in this case, saving Central Florida taxpayers more money over conventional loans.
The project consists of constructing the Phase V expansion of the Eastern Water Reclamation Facility, a necessary addition to expand the treatment capacity by more than 20 percent to meet increases in demand. The improvements will include a new preliminary treatment structure, additional disk filters, an additional chlorine contact chamber, a new dewatering facility and an expansion of the existing effluent pump station.
“Low interest SRF loans are a great tool to finance our very important environmental projects, and DEP staff provide outstanding service throughout the loan application process,” said Andres Salcedo, assistant director of Orange County Utilities.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program was established in 1989 to provide low-interest financing for the planning, design and construction of wastewater and stormwater facilities, in compliance with the Clean Water Act. This program has awarded nearly $4 billion in loans since its inception, providing more than $1.4 billion in funding for 96 projects in just the past five years. Funded by federal grants, state matching funds, loan repayments and interest earnings, state revolving fund loans are offered at low interest rates. Repayments from earlier loans are used to make new loans, allowing the program to continue operating.