Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced the investment of $136 million for water infrastructure improvements. The funding, provided by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, will go to 17 projects in counties throughout the state for drinking water, wastewater, storm water, and other improvements.
Municipalities across the country are running into trouble in terms of water and wastewater management due to aging water infrastructure. As existing infrastructure deteriorates, billions of dollars of investment will be required to update and repair it, experts say.
In Pennsylvania’s Adams Township, for example, water infrastructure in an area near the Luther/Salix Airport sees an on-lot malfunction rate of 83%, leading to detrimental impacts on local streams and drinking water wells. A treatment plant in Upper Augusta Township is unable to meet discharge limits into a tributary to the Susquehanna river and needs to be replaced. These are two of the projects that will receive funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, with loans of nearly $4.5 million and nearly $1.5 million respectively. The Upper Augusta Township is also receiving a $1.69 million grant.
Other funding from the $136 million investment will go to projects such as:
- The construction of a second water transmission main between the water filtration plant and the finished water reservoir of the Bradford City Water Authority. The project will ensure continued reliable service to the system and provide necessary redundancy allowing for maintenance.
- The construction of a new membrane filter water treatment plant and the upgrade of appurtenances of the State College Borough Water Authority. The project received a $24,950,000 loan, the largest of those coming from the $136 million investment.
Last April, the EPA announced new loans available for water infrastructure projects due to legislation that boosted funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). The program was expected to provide as much as $5.5 billion in loans for new investments to repair the nation’s water infrastructure, the EPA said.