Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems have a number of process control, operation and maintenance, or long-term infrastructure improvement decisions that have to be made every day. Some drinking water and wastewater treatment system infrastructure is aging and needs a significant amount of repair. New and innovative technologies and techniques to facilitate more effective treatment for less money are being developed every day.
Recognizing the need to provide better information to help decision-makers direct large-scale solutions to address this issue, the Department recently completed an update to an effort completed in 2008 to identify the long-term financing costs to operate and maintain the Commonwealth’s water and wastewater system infrastructure. Completed in the Summer of 2015, The Pennsylvania Water and Wastewater Gap Study (PDF) is a summary report of that effort.
To address the high cost of replacing Pennsylvania’s aging drinking water and wastewater system infrastructure, one main source of funding is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency State Revolving Loan Fund, managed by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority or PENNVEST. Combined with other sources of federal and state money, PENNVEST is able to fund the eligible costs associated with the acquisition, construction, improvement, expansion, extension, repair, rehabilitation or security measures of all or part of any facility or system, whether publicly or privately owned:
- For the collection, treatment, or disposal of wastewater, including industrial waste;
- For the supply, treatment, storage, or distribution of drinking water; and
- For the control of pollution associated with storm water runoff or any other innovative stormwater management techniques developed to comply with the Clean Streams Law, identified in the county-prepared watershed plans, or as identified in the Pennsylvania’s Nonpoint Source Management Program Update as required under section 319(b) of the Clean Water Act.
To get a complete picture of the kinds of projects funded by PENNVEST, see the Intended Use Plans and Project Priority Lists for either the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund for drinking water projects, or the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund for wastewater, stormwater or nonpoint source projects under the State Revolving Loan Intended Use Plan page.
In some cases, projects using PENNVEST funding must comply with federal requirements such as the:
- Use of American-made Iron and Steel Products
- Solicitation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
- Application of Davis Bacon wages
- The completion of an Environmental Review
- The development and implementation of a Fiscal Sustainability Plan (Asset Management Plan) - FOR CLEAN WATER STATE REVOLVING FUND PROJECTS ONLY
Additional state requirements that must be considered in the development and implementation of a project funded with PENNVEST funds include:
- Analysis of cost-effective alternatives
- Competitive procurement
- Change orders
In addition, adding green technology components to a project as defined in the EPA Green Infrastructure Guidelines, the development of an asset management plan or the utilization of energy efficiency measures in a project can increase the potential chances for funding.
Please check back regularly for future updates concerning these requirements.
For other sources of infrastructure financing and information on water infrastructure in general the following links may be of interest:
For general questions about Infrastructure Financing or the PENNVEST Program, contact:
Richard A. Wright, P.E.
Financial Assistance Section
Division of Technical and Financial Assistance
P.O. Box 8774
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774