The Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Virginia Beach, Va., is receiving a $225-million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan while Memphis, Tenn. will receive a $156 million grant from the program.
For Hampton Roads, the loan represents the first part of $1.05 billion in financing that will go toward the latest piece of Virginia’s Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) Program, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced Oct. 13.
The SWIFT program will apply water reuse and water treatment innovations to the restoration of the Potomac Aquifer’s water supply. Program improvements across 20 projects include treatment plant upgrades and the construction of advanced water treatment facilities and wells—intended to add potable water to the aquifer. The restoration of the aquifer will help mitigate land subsidence on Virginia’s coast that is related to aquifer withdrawals.
“Realizing HRSD’s vision that future generations will inherit clean waterways and be able to keep them clean requires significant investment today in clean water infrastructure,” said Commissioner and former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, Molly Joseph Ward, in a statement.
The total project cost for this phase is estimated at $460 million. In July, the district also received a $100-million loan from Virginia’s Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund program for the project. Revenue bonds will be used to pay for the balance.
Another recently announced WIFIA loan award goes to Memphis, which will receive $156 million for upgrades to its T.E. Maxson wastewater treatment facility.
“The funding will enable Memphis Public Works to complete important system upgrades, modernization and other vital improvements to its South Wastewater Treatment Plant,” said City of Memphis Public Works Director Robert Knecht, in a statement.
Upgrades to the facility include expanding biological treatment capacity and providing biosolids processing. The funding will also enable it to conform to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. The city will also renovate lagoons, replace existing infrastructure and improve odor control. The total project cost is $317.5 million.
The pair of projects are the 33rd and 34th WIFIA loans the EPA has issued since 2018, totaling $6.7 billion.