The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health awarded an $8 million loan to the Baton Rouge Water Company through the State’s Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund. The low-interest subsidized loan will help improve the Baton Rouge Water System.
The low-interest loan also allows the company not to have to pay back up to $500,000 of the loan for this project.
The loan will fund a project to install secondary chlorine containment units at 60 sites plus one additional portable unit and a dry chlorine scrubber at a large chlorine holding facility. The goal of this project is to maintain a high level of treatment and customer service while significantly raising the level of safety surrounding the treatment of water throughout the system.
LDH and Baton Rouge Water Company officials closed the loan on Thursday, April 12, 2018
Dr. Parham Jaberi, assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health, said it is imperative that all Louisiana residents have access to safe drinking water.
“Access to safe drinking water is critical to all Louisiana residents. The Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund helps water systems fund improvement projects, bringing safe and clean drinking water to their customers,” Jaberi said.
Congress established State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Programs in 1996 as part of the amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is jointly funded by an annual grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (80 percent) and the individual participating states (20 percent). In Louisiana, it is administered by LDH's Office of Public Health. Loans made through this program are low interest and have a maximum 20-year repayment period. Both public and privately-owned community and nonprofit, non-community water systems are eligible to apply for loans.
Once a loan is approved, water systems can use the funds to make their improvements. As the systems pay back the loans, the principal and interest are used to make more money available for other communities that have drinking water needs. All loan projects are approved based upon a priority ranking system. Among other factors, projects that address the most serious risks to human health and those that ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act are given the highest priority.
For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Wilson at LDH's Office of Public Health, 225-342-7499.
About the Louisiana Department of Health
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn visit www.ldh.la.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or our blog.