Water districts honored for sustainable public health protection

Three water utilities were honored recently for their work to protect public health. They were presented with the 2006 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Award for Sustainable Public Health Protection. The DWSRF finances projects that protect the quality of drinking water infrastructure across the US. The 2006 Awards recognize DWSRF borrowers who demonstrated leadership or promotion of sustainable infrastructure.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 1, 2007 -- Three water utilities were honored recently for their work to protect public health. They were presented with the 2006 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Award for Sustainable Public Health Protection. The DWSRF finances projects that protect the quality of drinking water infrastructure across the United States. The 2006 Awards recognize DWSRF borrowers who demonstrated leadership and innovation in financing, innovative project implementation, creative use of partnerships, or promotion of sustainable infrastructure.

The Culkin Water District in Vicksburg, MS, wan the award for its use of a DWSRF loan to construct a system to recycle water produced by the drinking water treatment plant. Using the loan, Culkin constructed facilities to allow recycling of clarified filter backwash water, and to allow sludge disposal in a nearby landfill. The project eliminated a public health threat and brought Culkin into compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

The Grand Bay Water Works Board in Alabama was presented with the award for using a DWSRF loan to install five miles of waterline and a one million gallon elevated water tank. The new system brings safe drinking water to approximately 65 households and supplements the existing water supply to serve the Grand bay population on both sides of a major interstate highway. The new water tank also served as an emergency shelter during the hurricanes of 2005.

Jefferson Communities Water System, in Jefferson County, FL, used a DWSRF loan to help fund the construction of a regional water system consisting of wells, elevated tanks, distribution facilities, controls and services. The new system replaced several private wells and non-community water systems that were contaminated with high levels of bacteria and in close proximity to pollution point sources. The new system will bring clean drinking water to the citizens of Jefferson County, while protecting the area from unrestrained well development.

The Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended in 1996, established the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to make funds available to drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The program also emphasizes providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.

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