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Incentives & Eligibility
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Oregon's DWSRF program provides the following incentives:
  • Interest rates are based on municipal bond rates with repayment terms up to 20 years for standard loans.
  • Loans for disadvantaged communities are allowed terms up to 30 years. Interest rates as low as 1% and/or subsidies in the form of principal forgiveness may apply.
  • Additional subsidy incentives are associated with the Green Project Reserve (GPR) (pdf), where categorical and business case related "green" elements of a project may be able to receive additional subsidies (not currently available).
  • The maximum loan amount is $6 million. Any project requesting $3 million or more requires additional review and approval from the Drinking Water Advisory Committee (DWAC).
  • Drinking Water Service's Circuit Rider Program provides free on-site technical services for community water systems serving populations under 10,000 and not-for-profit non-community water systems.
  • Eligible systems with eligible projects may now submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) year-round.

Eligible Systems
The following types of drinking water systems are eligible to apply for funding (for both infrastructure and source protection projects):
  • Publicly and privately owned community systems (e.g., cities, towns, mobile home parks, ports) and
  • Publicly and privately owned non-profit non-community systems (e.g., schools, parks, campgrounds, churches).
In addition, a system must be in compliance with drinking water standards or the proposed project must help the system resolve their compliance issues.

Note: Water systems applying for source protection funding must have a completed Source Water Assessment (SWA). See the Drinking Water Source Protection Fund page for information.

For more information regarding eligibility, see System Type, Eligibility, and Frequently Asked Questions (pdf).

Eligible Projects
To be eligible, projects must correct non-compliance with current or future state and federal drinking water standards and address the most serious human health problems affecting the water system, or be essential to creating a new drinking water system improvement that will substantially benefit public health. If DWS has issued an administrative enforcement order against a water system, then the proposed project must be able to return the water system to full compliance.

Projects may include planning, designing, constructing, and/or upgrading drinking water facilities. Projects may also include those needed to maintain compliance with current and future standards and those that further public health protection goals that coincide with OHA Drinking Water Rules.

Here are some examples of eligible projects for each project type listed on the LOI application:
  • Planning & Engineering: Includes updates to existing master plans or the creation of a master plan to remain compliant or regain compliance with the state and federal regulations. Current master plans are applicable if a water system has 300 or more service connections. Current feasibility studies are required for water systems with less than 300 service connections. This also includes preliminary and final engineering, surveying, legal reviews, and other supporting documents necessary for actually constructing and upgrading the water system. Planning may be acceptable if it is determined that it is essential for the completion of the upgrades and in the best interest of the water system.
  • Treatment: Includes disinfection, filtration, waste handling and treatment, aeration, iron/manganese removal, and chemical storage tanks. This can be related to a new water treatment facility or an existing facility wishing to rehabilitate, expand, or consolidate with another water treatment facility (where growth is NOT the primary purpose for constructing or upgrading the facility).
  • Storage: Elevated and ground level storage (reservoir) for finished/treated water and covers for existing storage.
  • Transmission, Distribution, & Metering: Includes raw and finished water transmission, service lines, valves, backflow prevention, water meters, and pumping stations.
  • Restructuring: Costs associated with changes in organizational structure, management, accounting, rates, or other procedures conducted to meet the technical, financial, and managerial requirements.
  • Land or Easement Acquisition: All eligible costs funded by the loan fund to acquire land or an easement.
  • Source Construction: Well, wellhead pumps, and surface water intakes.
  • System Purchase: All of the eligible costs funded by the loan fund to purchase a system as part of a consolidation/regionalization. Items may include right-of-way, easements, facility sites, or equipment.
  • Other: Any other assistance and costs that cannot be classified into the categories above, such as security fencing.