(The Center Square) – North Carolina’s Water Infrastructure Authority has approved $164 million in loans and grants to fund dozens of drinking water and wastewater projects across the state.
Governor Roy Cooper this week announced 76 authority-approved water and wastewater projects to improve and upgrade water systems, with funding through the state’s Revolving Fund for Clean Water, the State Revolving Fund for Drinking Water, the State Reserves for Drinking Water and Wastewater, and the Reserve for Viable Unit. .
“This funding opportunity will allow North Carolina to make meaningful investments in our communities,” Cooper said. “These projects will help promote equitable access to clean water, strengthen our economy, and advance climate resilience across the state.”
Major projects in the funding included $2.8 million in loans and grants to replace the sewage collection system at Pilot Mountain, $3 million in grants, and an additional $30 million in loans and equity forgiveness to expand the wastewater treatment in Wilkesboro and $1.7 million for infrastructure and drinking water quality. improvements at Stovall.
Another loan of more than $9 million will be used to improve Davie County’s water supply.
“This project creates a stronger regional water system by expanding Davie County’s Cooleemee Water Treatment Plant and adding an interconnect to the Town of Mocksville, allowing Mocksville to decommission its treatment plant water from Lagle,” according to a press release from Cooper.
The City of Elizabeth will also receive $1.2 million in loans to fund work needed to complete an ongoing water treatment plant rehabilitation project.
Nineteen counties also received funding to conduct assessments and inventories of drinking water supply and sanitation systems, with an emphasis on identifying infrastructure in need of rehabilitation or replacement.
The state has received a total of 37 applications requesting nearly $390 million in funds for drinking water projects, and it will distribute approximately $56 million in the current funding cycle. Thirty applications were submitted requesting nearly $365 million for wastewater treatment projects, with $101 million in funds approved.
Studies estimate that North Carolina will need $17 billion to $26 billion to upgrade water and sewer over the next two decades, according to the governor.
“This funding gives rural communities in North Carolina the opportunity to address the challenges of aging infrastructure and climate change, so they can become more viable, improve resilience, and compete for economic development,” said Elizabeth. Biser, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
A complete list of funded projects is available on the DEQ website.
The funding was approved Feb. 9 by the State Water Infrastructure Authority.
“The authority is an independent agency with primary responsibility for allocating federal and state funds for water and wastewater infrastructure projects,” according to Cooper’s statement. “Other responsibilities include developing a state water infrastructure master plan, recommending ways to maximize the use of available loan and grant financing resources, and reviewing best practices and emerging practices.”
The DEQ is accept applications for the next round of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects, which includes $1.69 billion allocated by the General Assembly last year from the state’s share of funding for the American Rescue Plan Act.
The deadline for the next round is May 2.