The Louisiana Department of Health has awarded a $2.31 million loan to the DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1. The loan is through the State’s Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, and will help the District improve its drinking water system.
In addition to the loan, the DeSoto water system also received a grant from the Drinking Water Capitalization Grant that pays for the first $462,000 of the loan (principal forgiveness).
The loan was closed in August, and will be used to construct a Magnetic Ion Resin Exchange pre-treatment system. This technology is used to reduce natural organic matter and dissolved organic carbon in drinking water, which will aid the water system in reducing its harmful disinfection byproducts.
“Our goal is always to provide the highest-quality drinking water to our customers,” said John Neilson, administrator of DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1. “This technology will make it easier to ensure the quality of our system’s water.”
Dr. Jimmy Guidry, LDH State Health Officer, says the Fund allows local communities to secure affordable financing to update drinking water infrastructure with the latest technology.
“Access to safe drinking water is critical to all Louisiana residents,” Guidry said. “The Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund helps keep water systems up-to-date, bringing safe and clean drinking water to their customers.”
Congress established State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Programs in 1996 as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is jointly funded by an annual grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (80 percent) and the individual participating states (20 percent). It is administered by LDH’s Office of Public Health. The FY 2017 Drinking Water Capitalization Grant allowed for additional subsidy in the form of principal forgiveness of up to 20 percent of the loan principal, with a cap of $500,000 of principal forgiveness per project.
Loans made through this program are low interest and have a maximum 20-year repayment period. Both public and privately-owned community and nonprofit, non-community water systems are eligible to apply for loans.
Once a loan is approved, water systems can use the funds to make their improvements. As the systems pay back the loans, the principal and interest are used to make more money available for other communities that have drinking water needs. All loan projects are approved based upon a priority ranking system. Among other factors, projects that address the most serious risks to human health and those that ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act are given the highest priority.
For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Wilson, program manager for the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, at 225-342-7499.
Pictured from left to right: Keith Shackelford, PE, Manchac Consulting, Inc.; John Neilson, Administrator, DeSoto Parish WWDN1; Dr. Jimmy Guidry, State Health Officer, LDH; Alan Offner, District Attorney, Foley & Judel, LLP; Amanda Laughlin, PE, Chief Engineer, LDH; Jennifer Wilson, DWRLF Program Manager, LDH; David Wolf, LDH Counsel, Adams and Reese, LLP.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit www.ldh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account, Facebook and blog.