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Leveraging Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loans for Water Quality Projects
December 26, 2021

The announcement of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has many Iowans wondering how their community will benefit from the legislation. On December 2, 2021, the U.S. EPA announced that the State of Iowa will receive five annual allocations of roughly $110M, beginning in 2022. This funding will support Iowa’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) program, which provides low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure. A key component of the funding focuses on addressing the disproportionate environmental burdens placed on underserved communities in Iowa.

In addition to essential infrastructure upgrades, communities In Iowa can take advantage of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Sponsored Projects program for water resource restoration initiatives. This program funds the construction of water quality practices to address nonpoint source pollution.

On a typical CWSRF loan, the wastewater utility system will borrow principal funds and then repay those funds plus interest and fees. With a Sponsored Project, the wastewater utility borrows for both the wastewater improvement project and the water resource restoration Sponsored Project. Through an overall interest rate reduction, ratepayers do not pay any more than they would have for just the wastewater improvements alone. Communities directly benefit by getting two water quality projects for the price of one. The program has two application rounds with applications typically due in March and September.

Impact7G’s SRF Work in Iowa

Our stream restoration experts assessed nearly 2,500 linear feet of Bear Creek using Iowa’s River Restoration Toolbox (IRRT). This was the first State Revolving Fund (SRF) Clean Water Sponsored Project to utilize IRRT in the State of Iowa. The resulting design called for 4.2 acres of riparian buffer seeded with plants native to Iowa, a half-acre of oxbow restoration, and over 1,500 linear feet of stream restoration practices (fish habitat improvements, inner streambank benches, cross vanes, and j-hooks). This project was completed in 2021.

The City of Fort Dodge took advantage of an interest rate reduction by combining sanitary sewer improvements with a stream restoration Sponsored Project. Impact7G and McClure Engineering are currently working with the City to restore approximately 2,800 linear feet of Soldier Creek utilizing the Iowa DNR River Restoration Toolbox. With the addition of a meander and the creation of oxbows, the stream will increase channel length by over 4,330 linear feet. Wetland restoration adjacent to Solider Creek will add water quality and habitat improvements. This project is expected to be complete in 2023.

The City of West Branch was recently approved for an SRF Sponsored Project and will be making improvements within the Wapsinonoc Creek watershed. Impact7G will be working with the City to develop plans for stream restoration and floodplain reconnection within a section of Wapsinonoc Creek. This project is expected to be completed in 2023.

Our stream restoration experts assessed nearly 2,500 linear feet of Bear Creek using Iowa’s River Restoration Toolbox (IRRT). This was the first State Revolving Fund (SRF) Clean Water Sponsored Project to utilize IRRT in the State of Iowa. The resulting design called for 4.2 acres of riparian buffer seeded with plants native to Iowa, a half-acre of oxbow restoration, and over 1,500 linear feet of stream restoration practices (fish habitat improvements, inner streambank benches, cross vanes, and j-hooks). This project was completed in 2021.

The City of Fort Dodge took advantage of an interest rate reduction by combining sanitary sewer improvements with a stream restoration Sponsored Project. Impact7G and McClure Engineering are currently working with the City to restore approximately 2,800 linear feet of Soldier Creek utilizing the Iowa DNR River Restoration Toolbox. With the addition of a meander and the creation of oxbows, the stream will increase channel length by over 4,330 linear feet. Wetland restoration adjacent to Solider Creek will add water quality and habitat improvements. This project is expected to be completed in 2023.

The City of West Branch was recently approved for an SRF Sponsored Project and will be making improvements within the Wapsinonoc Creek watershed. Impact7G will be working with the City to develop plans for stream restoration and floodplain reconnection within a section of Wapsinonoc Creek. This project is expected to be completed in 2023.

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