Are your water and sewer bills increasing? Do you know if your community has lead water lines? After decades of neglect, drinking and wastewater systems across the country are in need of upgrades to ensure water is safe to drink and reduce pollution. Upgrading drinking water systems and removing lead pipes are costly expenditures for cities and municipalities. Over the next five-years additional funding will be available through the State Revolving Fund program, and a significant percentage is targeted for disadvantaged communities.
The State Revolving Fund (commonly known as SRF) is a pot of state money that is filled by both annual deposits from Congress and the earned interest of the loans it hands out. This money is awarded to municipalities and water utilities for the sole purpose of making water safer, cleaner, and more affordable. For consideration of funding, a public water system must identify an important project(s) and pay an engineer to develop a project plan. Scored plans are ranked to determine where the money goes. Fortunately, recent changes in the program increase available money for investment and forgivable loans for disadvantaged communities, but it is only available for the next five years. This makes now the time to push our local governments and water departments to get in line.
The reality is that there is growing demand and competition for this water infrastructure funding. Solving the water crises in your community will require speaking up now in order to ensure that your water utility applies within the next few years. This is a chance to help your community, neighbors, and yourself.
How to help your community get funding
What water issue do you or your neighbors experience?
- High bills
- Forever chemicals
- Old, failing pipes
- Broken treatment systems
- Boil orders Lead pipes
- Flooded basements, streets, or yards
Contact your water utility or local government office to advocate for this limited-time funding opportunity.
- Tell them your concerns.
- Ask, What are we doing to address this issue?
- Have you ever applied to the SRF?
- Will you Strongly encourage your elected local officials and water utility to make a plan.
- Often the places that need the money the most are the same places facing the most barriers to accessing the money.