California Town Wins $1 Million in Clean Water Program EPA Loan Approval

The City of San Mateo, Calif., in partnership with Foster City, secured in its application a $277 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan from the ‘US EPA to support the Clean Water program.

The clean water program helps repair, replace and upgrade aging sewage and wastewater treatment infrastructure. It serves about 170,000 residents of: San Mateo, Foster City, the Crystal Springs County Health District and parts of Hillsborough, Belmont and San Mateo County, the city reported.

The program also aims to achieve objectives such as: replacing aging pipelines and installations that have reached or are approaching their useful life; to meet current and future regulatory requirements; providing clean and safe drinking water, including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants; and managing aging infrastructure.

The infrastructure improvement program will also protect San Mateo from damage associated with heavy rains. The thunderstorms could potentially contaminate San Mateo’s streets, coves, lagoons, beaches and San Francisco Bay.

With the WIFIA loan, residents and taxpayers could save up to $55.4 million in interest costs, as the loan will fund nearly half of the full upgrades and expansion of the treatment plant wastewater from San Mateo.

The San Mateo City Council has given staff approval to proceed with finalizing the loan agreement on October 19, 2020.

A second WIFIA loan offer from the EPA for $85 million is still under consideration, the city reported.

“As we searched for funding solutions for our billion dollar program, funding from WIFIA became vital to our funding structure and we are grateful for the encouragement of our City Council and the advocacy of our federal partners for the complete,” said Brad Underwood, San Mateo Public Works Director.

The Clean Water program is the largest initiative of the San Mateo Department of Public Works and is one of six programs in the Bay Area.

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