Monthly Featured Story - May, 2011 | Texas Water Development Board

State Revolving Fund May 2011

At the state level, the Texas Water Development Board administers the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. These funds help communities across Texas through loans at below-market interest rates and principal forgiveness for planning, designing, and constructing wastewater (CWSRF) and water supply (DWSRF) infrastructure.

Two Texas communities have not only benefitted locally from SRF-funded projects, but are also being recognized nationally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this year. The City of Austin will be presented with the EPA's Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) award for the Austin Water Utility Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant project. This plant treats all of Austin's biosolids and yard trimmings through anaerobic digestion, agricultural land application and composting. All of the biosolids that enter the plant are recycled, making it a zero-discharge facility.

Water separated from the biosolids is treated in ponds that provide a nationally-renowned birding habitat and is eventually used to irrigate fields. Annually, the plant uses 5,000 dry tons of biosolids to produce 40,000 cubic yards of compost, which is known as Dillo Dirt. The TWDB awarded the City of Austin $31.8 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 through the CWSRF. The funds were used to expand and upgrade the plant, as well as to make energy efficiency improvements.

The City of Fort Worth will be recognized with the EPA's award for Sustainable Public Health Protection for its Village Creek Reclaimed Water Delivery System. When complete, the Village Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant will serve as the source of reclaimed water to be used by the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the City of Arlington and the City of Euless. The reclaimed water will be used for irrigation of open spaces and industrial and commercial facilities, cooling water make-up, and natural gas drilling operations. This system will be the first component of the City of Fort Worth's reclaimed water utility. Over the 50-year life cycle of the project, there will be an estimated 55-million-gallon reduction in potable water demands resulting from the use of reclaimed water. The TWDB awarded the City of Fort Worth $16.3 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the DWSRF.

"The state revolving funds have had an enormous impact on the state of Texas for over twenty years by allowing the TWDB the opportunity to help fund many infrastructure projects for both drinking water and wastewater improvements with subsidized loans," TWDB Director of Program Development Stacy Barna said. "This helps our Texas communities become more sustainable because they are better able to afford the repairs and upgrades they need to adequately serve the water and waste needs of their customers."

Since 1997, the TWDB has made 182 DWSRF commitments to assist 127 systems serving a total population of approximately 3.7 million. Through the end of state fiscal year 2010, the TWDB has committed a total of $1,230,711,241 in DWSRF loans and grants to water systems across the state.

Since 1988, the TWDB has made 602 CWSRF commitments to assist 349 publicly-owned and other wastewater systems serving a total population of approximately 12.8 million. Through the end of state fiscal year 2010, the TWDB had committed a total of $6,087,650,465 in loans and grants to these entities.