EPA lauds infrastructure success at Erie drinking water facility

Aug. 6, 2007
EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson joined federal, state and local officials today to mark the completion of major improvements to the Sigsbee Pump Station -- a key facility supplying drinking water to the city of Erie and surrounding communities. The administrator's visit is one of the first stops on a national tour to highlight the importance of water infrastructure. "Our nation's aging water infrastructure cannot remain, 'Out of sight, out of mind,'" said Johnson. "Thanks to the efforts...

ERIE, PA, August 1, 2007 -- EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson joined federal, state and local officials today to mark the completion of major improvements to the Sigsbee Pump Station -- a key facility supplying drinking water to the city of Erie and surrounding communities.

The administrator's visit is one of the first stops on a national tour to highlight the importance of water infrastructure.

"Our nation's aging water infrastructure cannot remain, 'Out of sight, out of mind,'" said Johnson. "Thanks to the efforts of partners like Erie Water Works, EPA continues to provide Americans with clean, safe drinking water."

The Erie Water Works has spent more than $1.6 million to upgrade the pump station that was originally built in 1927. It was financed with a $1.6 million low-interest loan issued by Pennsylvania through grant funds provided by EPA's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program. The loan program is managed by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Congress established the program in 1996 to help finance infrastructure improvements. EPA awards grants to states, which, in turn, provide low-cost loans and other assistance to eligible water systems.

The existing pumps at the Sigsbee pump station were last upgraded in the 1950's and were inadequate to serve the current and future needs of an expanding service area. The facility supplies most of the finished water to reservoirs and tanks which serve the City of Erie and outlying communities.

Improvements included installing a new pump and upgrading two other pumps and their associated piping, valves and other equipment. Renovations were also made to the electrical, ventilation and mechanical systems. The authority also installed a backup power supply and an improved security system. The project benefits include improved reliability, enhanced security and energy savings.

For more information on EPA's drinking water state revolving fund program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf/index.html.

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