The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Orofino Water/Wastewater Superintendent, Michael Martin, with its WATERS award in recognition of the city’s substantial upgrades to its drinking water system on Tuesday at the city water treatment plant.

With a $9.7 million loan from Idaho’s Drinking Water State Revolving Loan fund, Orofino recently made significant changes to its system when it; constructed a new water treatment plant, constructed a new water intake in the Clearwater River, installed a new water, and upgraded a reservoir and transmission lines.

EPA determined Orofino’s project is noteworthy and deserving of a WATERS award because by converting from conventional filtration to membrane filtration, and installing energy efficient pumps, Orofino will save an estimated 15 million gallons of water and 212,700 kWh of electricity per year, and reduce chemical use by 90%. The project was made significantly more affordable for ratepayers through $2.5 million in principal forgiveness, as well as a 30-year loan term and a 0% interest rate.

The WATERS Awards

The EPA Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington) WATERS award program recognizes exceptional drinking water facility improvement projects. WATERS award winners are nominated by state DWSRF staff as projects that help water systems maintain or return to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, as well as achieve one or more elements of the WATERS award: (Well-planned; Affordability (a smart bargain for utility customers); Transferable technologies, ideas and approaches that other communities can also use; Efficiency improvements for energy and/or water; Resiliency and/or Sustainability attributes.)

About the DWSRF

Program

Created by Congress in 1996, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has provided approximately $20 billion in DWSRF grant funds to approximately 14,800 projects nationwide. Along with state match, repayments and interest earnings, states’ DWSRF grants have provided $38 billion in DWSRF loans, helping to provide clean and safe drinking water to hundreds of millions of U.S. residents.

About the Region 10 DWSRF Program

Over the past 21 years, the EPA Region 10 DWSRF program has been capitalized at a total of $1.2 billion. To date, using those funds, along with state match, repayments and interest earnings, Region 10 states have provided $1.9 billion in DWSRF loans.

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