The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a $40-million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to help finance a sewer and wastewater system upgrade in Kissimmee, Fla.

The loan, which EPA announced on Feb. 18, was approved for the Toho Water Authority, and will be combined with other funds to cover the $81.9-million total cost of the project. [View EPA fact sheet on the project here.]

The water authority’s project includes repairing, upgrading and replacing sewer mains, lines and manholes. It aims to reduce the number and volume of sanitary sewer overflows.

Clarence Thacker, the water authority's board chairman, said in a statement that the project "will continue to improve the reliability of our wastewater infrastructure while demonstrating our ongoing commitment to safeguarding public health and the state's water quality."

According to EPA, using the WIFIA loan will save the water authority about $7.9 million, compared with the cost of using conventional bond financing.

The new loan is EPA’s 16th since the agency’s first WIFIA loan approval, in April 2018. The total amount of those loans is more than $3.5 billion, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

The loan to the Toho Water Authority follows the approval of a $59-million WIFIA loan announced on Feb. 7, to the Coachella Valley Water District in Coachella, Calif.

The loan will help finance two projects, valued at a combined $120.7 million, whose goal is to make stormwater channel improvements to reduce stormwater runoff to nearby properties.