Friday, May 13, 2011

Demand High for Municipal Water System Grants

A new round of funding is going out to help respond to widespread problems with local sewage systems and dams in Pennsylvania.

The state’s Department of Community and Economic Development is giving grants to 160 water infrastructure projects totaling $172 million.

DCED Director of Site Development Brian Eckert says the “H20 PA” grants range from $52,000 to $4 million The funding includes $1 million toward a $28 million upgrade to New Kensington’s wastewater treatment plant.

Eckert says there are various reasons for the widespread breakdown of municipal water systems.

“A lot of it in the smaller municipalities where there is less capacity, less resources, it’s a problem of aged infrastructure. In those smaller municipalities that are growing, it’s a capacity issue. They don’t have the capacity to support current needs, so they’re failing.”

Eckert says the demand for H20 PA program totaled in the billions of dollars, so the $172 million in grants is just “a drop in the bucket” compared with the need across the state. He says that grant money was approved last week and will be ready to use soon.

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