DC Water is getting a federal loan that will let the city make millions of dollars in improvements to the water and sewer system in all eight wards of the city.
Michael Regan, at his first in-person event as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, on Thursday announced the $156 million loan through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. Officials said the low-interest loan will save the city $30 million in interest over what it would pay for a commercial loan.
Regan said the project will improve drinking water distribution in the city by “upgrading the main pumps that serve roughly 700,000 D.C. residents, including communities of color and low-income communities.”
He added that the money will also “help upgrade storm water systems to protect the ecologically vibrant Anacostia and Potomac Rivers from sewage contamination.”
DC Water CEO and General Manager David Gadis said the loan will fund “small-diameter water main replacements, wastewater treatment plant upgrades and sewer rehabilitation projects.” Gadis also said the loan will allow DC Water to expedite a number of projects.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is looking forward to getting those new projects going.
“It means we can do more, faster, to clean our rivers,” she said, “and it means that we can do more, faster, to stop flooding that has caused expensive property damage to homeowners.”
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton also attended Thursday’s event, along with DC Water Board of Directors Chair Tommy Wells and Ward 5 Council Member Kenyan McDuffie.