Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $22 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Englewood, Colorado to support the One Water Modernization Program. With EPA’s WIFIA loan, Englewood will modernize aging wastewater infrastructure at the South Platte Renew plant to be more resilient and better protect water quality.
“The South Platte River provides essential water for drinking, agriculture, industry, and recreation,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “I want to congratulate the City of Englewood for investing in clean water and securing a low-interest WIFIA loan to help cover the costs. EPA supports water infrastructure investments and looks forward to uplifting more communities with $50 billion for water through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
Englewood, Colorado, is located in a water-constrained and rapidly changing region. As a result, the city is pursuing its One Water Modernization Program, a comprehensive water infrastructure modernization plan. With this loan, Englewood will upgrade its wastewater treatment and conveyance systems by replacing outdated electrical and control systems and making treatment and process improvements to address aging infrastructure. Included in these upgrades are chemical and ultraviolet treatment improvements, which will help to assure that discharges comply with state limits for nitrates. Englewood will also establish a wastewater pilot and research center to test new technologies and treatment equipment. In addition to environmental improvements, these projects will help protect bolster the system’s resilience to climate change and extreme weather events.
"Englewood is leading the charge to modernize our water infrastructure. This investment will provide clean water, promote resiliency, and create jobs all while saving taxpayers money,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper.
“This is a huge win for our community and is yet another example of the progress we’re making as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-1). “Not only will this project help improve water quality for the residents of Englewood, it will also provide a boost to the local economy by creating jobs and further protect our community from the threat of climate change.”
“The City of Englewood is pleased to work with EPA on securing nearly $22 million in loan funds to invest in South Platte Renew,” said Englewood Mayor Othoniel Sierra. “Englewood is the first utility in the State of Colorado to use the WIFIA Loan Program for infrastructure investment. Not only does the WIFIA program provide the funds necessary to modernize our aging wastewater infrastructure to be more resilient and protect and improve water quality in the South Platte River, it allows the city to delay repayment, saving citizens money.”
“EPA’s WIFIA loans are helping Western communities make infrastructure investments that will protect critical water resources in the face of increasing climate challenges,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “The City of Englewood’s South Platte Renew upgrades will create good-paying jobs, strengthen capacity and resilience, and secure state-of-the-art wastewater treatment for a cleaner, healthier watershed.”
Englewood will save approximately $8.5 million by financing with a WIFIA loan. Construction and operation are estimated to create approximately 282 jobs.
Englewood’s water infrastructure project compliments the work being done through EPA’s South Platte Urban Waters Partnership, a collaboration of organizations working across governmental and disciplinary boundaries. The aim of the partnership is to protect and restore lands and waters in the South Platte River watershed.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: WIFIA.