The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 authorize a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to assist public water systems to finance the costs of infrastructure needed to achieve or maintain compliance with SDWA requirements and to protect public health objectives of the Act.
In addition to authorizing the infrastructure fund, the SDWA Amendments also establish a strong new emphasis on preventing contamination problems through source water protection and enhanced water systems management. That emphasis transforms the previous law from a largely after-the-fact regulatory oriented program into a statute that can provide for the sustainable use of water.
DWSRF: Safe and affordable drinking water for all
The DWSRF program will help ensure that the nation's drinking water supplies remain safe and affordable, that drinking water systems that receive funding will be properly operated and maintained, and that permanent institutions will exist in each state to provide financial support for drinking water needs for many years to come. Congress has placed particular emphasis on assisting smaller drinking water systems under the DWSRF, to ensure that these systems have adequate technical, managerial, and financial resources to come into or maintain compliance and provide safe water.
The Fund cannot provide funding assistance for the following projects and activities:
- Projects needed mainly for fire protection
- Projects primarily intended for future growth
- A Fund cannot provide assistance to finance the expansion of any drinking system solely in anticipation of future population growth.
The DWSRF is fundamentally a State program. Each State will have considerable flexibility to determine the design of its program and to direct funding toward its most pressing compliance and public health protection needs. Only minimal Federal requirements will be imposed.
The State of Mississippi Legislature under Section 41-3-16 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 authorized the Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Improvements (Board) to implement the Emergency Loan Program and the Improvement Loan Program. For counties and municipalities, loans will be repaid by the withholding of homestead exemption tax loss reimbursements or sales tax distributions by the State Tax Commission, thereby avoiding the need to transmit a monthly repayment.
The Emergency Loan program
The Emergency Loan Program is intended to provide emergency loans to counties, municipalities, districts, or other water organizations that are tax exempt, for the repair, replacement, or construction of drinking water projects that meet the Board's definition of emergency, as defined by the Board's regulations for this program. There is no set maximum loan limit for an emergency loan. The present interest rate is 2.0%, compounded monthly, to be amortized within 5 years after project completion. The applications are considered on a "first come, first served" basis, and loans will be processed to qualified projects until all available funds are obligated. The loan process takes 30-60 days with provisions for work to begin while the application is being processed.
Improvements Revolving Loan Fund program
The Improvements Revolving Loan Fund Program is intended to provide low interest loan funding to counties, municipalities, districts and other water organizations that are tax exempt, for the construction of new water systems, the expansion or repair of existing water systems, or the consolidation of new or existing water systems. A maximum loan amount of $5,000,000 per borrower for eligible expenses has been set by the Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Improvements Board (Board); however, the Board may allow (on a case-by-case basis if requested by the borrower and the need has been justified) the maximum loan limit to be exceeded by a vote of the Board. In addition, the funds from a loan may be coupled with funds from other source(s) to meet other needs of the overall project. The present interest rate is 1.95%, compounded monthly, to be amortized within 20 years of the project completion. Expect the loan process to take 6-8 months.
Intended Use Plan and other documents
If you have any questions, please contact:
Drinking Water SRF Coordinator
Division of Water Supply
Mississippi State Department of Health
P. O. Box 1700
570 East Woodrow Wilson Boulevard
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
(601) 576-7518 Telephone
(601) 576-7822 FAX