EPA has provided the loan for the $81.9m Kissimmee Accelerated Gravity Sewer Assessment and Rehabilitation project


EPA offers $40m loan to Toho Water Authority to improve water infrastructure in Kissimmee. (Credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter/Pixabay)

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to provide $40m water infrastructure loan to a water utility company, Toho Water Authority in Kissimmee, Florida.

The agency has provided the loan under Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) for $81.9m Kissimmee Accelerated Gravity Sewer Assessment and Rehabilitation project.

The funding is provided to finance projects that will improve the efficiency of the current sewer and wastewater management systems and support community growth without needing to expand the current wastewater treatment facility.

As part of the project, the water utility company will repair, rehabilitate and replace sewer mains, sewer lines and manholes along with 65 wastewater pumping station basins as well as more than 900,000 feet of gravity mains.

EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said: “This WIFIA loan will improve water quality and support the economy of Kissimmee while delivering on President Trump’s commitment to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, create jobs and safeguard public health and the environment.

“With this loan closing, EPA has now issued 16 WIFIA loans totaling more than $3.5 billion in credit assistance to help finance more than $8 billion for water infrastructure projects while creating more than 16,000 jobs.”

The EPA-funded project will reduce emergency failures

The project is expected to reduce the number of emergency failures that include sanitary sewer overflows caused due to problems with the current infrastructure. It will also decrease inflow and infiltration into the current gravity sewer system.

Construction and operation phases of the project are expected to create 198 jobs.

EPA said that the enhancements are expected to benefit 300,000 people by increasing the treatment capacity and allowing community growth without expanding the current wastewater treatment facility.

In October last year, EPA invited 39 new projects in 19 states to apply for loans, totalling about $6bn, under WIFIA in a bid to improve water quality.