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City of Craig recognized for safe drinking water achievements

Release Date: 09/04/2009
Contact Information: Karin Tatum 303 312-7823; Richard Mylott 303 312-6654

(Denver, Colo. -- September 4, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the City of Craig, Colo., with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Award for Sustainable Public Health Protection. The City is being recognized for significant investments in safe drinking water, including updating its drinking water treatment technologies.

    The City of Craig received a DWSRF loan in 2008 to fund the improvement of its under-sized and antiquated drinking water treatment facilities. This project includes the replacement of a chlorine gas disinfection system and inadequate contact basin with an ultraviolet/sodium hypochlorite on-site generation system. These upgrades will help the City meet future safe drinking water requirements to reduce illness linked with the contaminant Cryptosporidium and other disease-causing microorganisms. Craig participated in the development of the required design criteria for the UV treatment technique, which is a prototype for future systems in Colorado.

    "The City of Craig offers a potent example of the type of investments that will help our nation's communities provide safe drinking water for decades to come," said Carol Rushin, EPA's Acting Regional Administrator in Denver. “The effort that has been made to improve drinking water treatment capabilities in Craig is a clear investment in the future health of the community."

    Since the first 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. The 2008 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 public health benefits. Each nominee had to demonstrate leadership in at least one or more of the following criteria: better management practices, full-cost pricing/affordability, efficient water use, watershed approach, innovation in financing, innovative approach to planning and/or project implementation, and creative use of partnerships.

    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, visit EPA's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund web site.