WAUKESHA, WIS – The city of Waukesha, Wis. Is the latest recipient of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan. A total $137 million was awarded to the city, to help implement the Great Lakes Water Supply Project. This WIFIA loan will help protect public health and the environment of this Milwaukee suburb by affecting the city’s transition to an enduring, sustainable and safer source of drinking water.
“This WIFIA loan will provide the City of Waukesha with a new, safer source of drinking water from Lake Michigan, while saving the City approximately $38 million when compared to typical bond financing,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
The Great Lakes Water Supply Project will provide the City of Waukesha with a new, safer source for drinking water. The project includes the construction of infrastructure to obtain, store, and distribute drinking water from Milwaukee Water Works to City of Waukesha customers. It also includes the pumps and pipes needed to return treated wastewater to Lake Michigan via the Root River.
“Waukesha’s current water supply is severely drawn down and contaminated with naturally-occurring radium. Our Lake Michigan water supply project will ensure that our community can rely on a safe and sustainable water supply for generations to come,” said Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly. “The federal WIFIA loans help ensure that we are constructing it at the lowest possible cost, which is great news for our residential and business ratepayers.”
This project will cost approximately $300 million, and EPA’s WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of that figure. Wisconsin Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans will also fund a portion of the project costs. The WIFIA loan will save the City of Waukesha an estimated $35.9 million compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs.