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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@state.de.us

Date: March 15, 2012
DHSS-29-2012





LOAN PROGRAM TO UPGRADE DRINKING WATER FOR 150,000 DELAWAREANS

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to Loan $18M


The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program announced today that nine Delaware municipalities will benefit from a grant awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last fall. Funds will be loaned to cities and towns throughout the state to help finance drinking water infrastructure improvements. The projects will help improve drinking water for over 150,000 Delawareans.

"The mission of the Office of Drinking Water is to protect the health of Delawareans by assuring safe drinking water through comprehensive monitoring, technical assistance and public education," said Thom May, DPH Health Systems Protection section chief. "The DWSRF is an important part of DPH's on-going commitment to high quality drinking water."

The communities that will upgrade their drinking water infrastructures through the low-interest loans are Wilmington, Selbyville, Milford, Seaford, Georgetown, Middletown, Delmar, Blades, and Greenwood. Projects will begin construction work in the summer of 2012 and, depending on the level of complexity projects, duration is estimated to be from 12 to 24 months.

"Wilmington relies on the DWSRF program to meet its critical infrastructure needs in a cost-effective manner for its rate payers," said Colleen M. Arnold, City of Wilmington assistant water division director. "Without the DWSRF, funding of necessary capital infrastructure projects would have halted in the recession. Wilmington is very grateful for the Public Health staff who help administer the fund seamlessly and for the funding program."

Some of the improvements to the communities are:

According to John F. Mc Donnell, Greenwood Town Manager, "The $187,000 loan for the Town of Greenwood will allow us to increase the water quality that we provide to our 937 residents. Greenwood is pleased to partner with Public Health to offer this upgrade."

The criteria that DWSRF uses for project selection includes public health risks minimization, affordability of the communities, and compliance with state and federal regulations. The projects will increase water quality by upgrading failing distribution systems, providing current technology, and replacing antiquated equipment.

Delawareans interested in learning more about water quality and state services available can visit the Delaware's Water Quality Information and Resources website at http://portal.delaware.gov/waterquality/ or call the Public Water Supply Supervision Program at 302-741-8630.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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