Avon Lake Regional Water will begin two large-scale construction projects this summer using zero interest loans from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Todd Danielson, chief utilities executive, said the utility has qualified for about $15 million to increase drinking water storage capacity and $6 million on upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant.
“It’s going to be a big year with respect to construction,” Danielson said.
Avon Lake Municipal Utilities provides water to Medina.
Last year’s toxic algae bloom in Toledo and previous problems with frazil ice blocking water intakes that affected Medina and Lorain counties were the catalysts for the projects, he said. The loans should cover the bulk of the two projects, each slated to cost $20 million to $30 million, and the utility will apply for competitive low-interest loans through the EPA to cover additional costs.
Danielson said the 20-year zero interest loans will save the utility about 30 to 40 percent on annual debt service. The projects will cost the utility about $3 million annually in debt service, he said.
The water plant has the ability to store 2.5 million gallons of water with an additional 1 million gallons of storage out in the system. Danielson said a total of 5 million gallons will be added.
In addition to increased storage, the water plant also will improve emergency power generation capabilities and the process in which dirt and sediment brought in from the lake during the intake process are processed.
Improvements at the wastewater plant, which hasn’t seen large-scale upgrades since the 1980s, will include projects to improve the quality of water discharged into Lake Erie, Danielson said.
Danielson said the construction projects will benefit the community and help deter hazardous algae blooms like the one in Toledo.
“We’re doing these projects to better protect health and the environment,” he said. “It will make us more resilient to outside problems while helping to improve the water quality of Lake Erie.”
Contact reporter Jon Wysochanski at (440) 329-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org .