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City of Sioux Falls, Minnehaha Community Water Corporation recognized for wastewater and drinking water excellence

Release Date: 08/25/2009
Contact Information: Brian Friel 303 312-6277, Karin Tatum 303 312-7823, Richard Mylott 303 312-6654

Utilities to receive EPA Clean Water, Drinking Water awards at separate ceremonies on Tuesday, August 25

(Denver, Colo. -- August 25, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will recognize the City of Sioux Falls wastewater utility and the Minnehaha Community Water Corporation for significant and innovative investments in clean water and safe drinking water in separate ceremonies in Sioux Falls on August 25. The City of Sioux Falls is being recognized for achievements in improving water quality with EPA's Performance and Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) Award. The Minnehaha Community Water Corporation will receive EPA's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Award for Sustainable Public Health Protection.

Brad Johnson, Chairman of the State Board of Water and Natural Resources, will present the two national EPA awards during ceremonies on August 25. Dave Munson, Mayor of Sioux Falls, will accept a Performance and Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success award for the City of Sioux Falls. The award will be presented at 1:30 p.m. at Dunham Park, Marion Rd. and Silver Valley Dr., in Sioux Falls. Lloyd Rave, Minnehaha Community Water Corporation president, will accept a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Award for Sustainable Health Protection on behalf of Minnehaha Community Water. The award will be presented at 3 p.m. at the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System office, 401 E. 8th Street, Suite 306, in Sioux Falls.

For more information on these award ceremonies, contact Kim Smith at the DENR, 605-773-3152.

“These water utilities offer potent examples of the type of innovation that will help our nation's communities secure clean water and drinking water for decades to come," said Carol Rushin, EPA's Acting Regional Administrator in Denver. “The City of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha Community Water Corporation have taken clear and proactive steps to improve water quality and protect public health."

Sioux Falls has earned the PISCES award by being the first city in the state to receive funding through South Dakota's new Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) nonpoint source incentive rate program, which rewards wastewater and stormwater projects with a lower loan interest rate for activities that directly address nonpoint sources of pollution in local waters. Nonpoint source pollution includes runoff from urban and rural areas that enters surface waters. In 2008, Sioux Falls' wastewater utility secured loans totaling approximately $57 million to fund storm sewer improvements and the construction of a new sanitary sewer, while simultaneously contributing over $4 million to best management practices for the Central Big Sioux River Watershed Restoration project.

The Minnehaha Community Water Corporation is a regional water provider that has used Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (DWSRF) to develop and implement a strategy to reduce levels of radio-nuclides, nitrate, iron and manganese in the water supplies of two local communities. Minnehaha expanded its water supply, water treatment, and delivery system to provide water that is compliant with Safe Drinking Water Act regulations to the towns of Garretson and Colton. This project provided a regional solution to water quality problems that offers clear public health benefits for those served by the waster system.

More on the Clean Water SRF program
EPA's Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) Awards recognize those individual projects that best represent the CWSRF's commitment to innovative and sustainable water quality financing. The nomination criteria consisted of leadership and innovation in Clean Water Act compliance and financial integrity. In addition, each borrower had to demonstrate a commitment to one of more of the following criteria:

Better management practices
Full-cost pricing
Efficient water use
Watershed approach
Innovation in financing
Innovative approach to project implementation
Creative use of partnerships

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs, authorized and funded by the Clean Water Act, allow states to provide low interest loans to wastewater systems to assist them in meeting wastewater infrastructure needs. The states then use these monies to select projects for funding.

Link to document highlighting CWSRF PISCES award winners.

For more information please visit EPA's Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

More on the Drinking Water SRF program
Since the first EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan was made in 1997, assistance recipients have shown exceptional creativity in designing projects that promote sustainability and protect public health. EPA's DWSRF Awards for Sustainable Public Health Protection recognize the most innovative and effective projects that further the goal of clean and safe water through exceptional planning, management and finance. The projects had to meet three mandatory criteria to qualify for the Awards including compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, financial integrity, and the provision of clear public health benefits.

The Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended in 1996, established the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program to make funds available to drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The program also emphasizes providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.

For more information, visit EPA's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Web site.