$105M WIFIA loan helps wastewater treatment in Sarasota County, Fla.

Dec. 28, 2021
The county's Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility Expansion and Advanced Wastewater Treatment Conversion Project will upgrade the facility’s wastewater treatment capacity from 12 MGD to 18 MGD.

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $105 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Sarasota County, Florida. The financed project will upgrade water infrastructure to support population growth and water reuse.

The funded project, titled Sarasota County’s Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility Expansion and Advanced Wastewater Treatment Conversion Project, will upgrade the Bee Ridge facility’s wastewater treatment capacity from 12 million gallons per day to 18 million gallons per day to meet customer demand.

“This loan will help to improve and protect our water quality, and save our citizens money,” said Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners’ Chairman Alan Maio. “This continues to be a priority for our board, and the EPA’s support is a testament to our ongoing commitment to fiscal and environmental responsibility.”

The modernized facility will provide a sustainable water supply for irrigation upon the project’s completion and will increase the county’s ability to implement other water reuse options in the future. It will also improve water quality by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus discharged into local waterbodies. Implementing innovative wastewater treatment processes will help the county to comply with current and future regulatory requirements.

“By improving water infrastructure, we are improving the quality of life and public health in our communities,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the WIFIA loan program, EPA is happy to support Sarasota County in ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water for generations to come.”

EPA’s $105 million WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of the $214 million project costs. Sarasota County will save approximately $22 million through its WIFIA financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create an estimated 688 jobs and construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

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