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Cullman, Ala. Recognized by EPA for Excellence and Innovation in Clean Water Infrastructure

11/09/2018
Contact Information: 
James Pinkney (pinkney.james@epa.gov)
(404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA (November 9, 2018) – On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the wastewater treatment plant improvement project in Cullman, Ala. as one of 30 clean water infrastructure projects for excellence and innovation within the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program. Honored projects include large wastewater infrastructure projects to small decentralized and agriculture projects.

“The Clean Water State Revolving Fund plays an integral role in advancing the President’s infrastructure agenda, providing communities with low-interest loans so that they can modernize aging infrastructure, create good jobs, and better protect public health and the environment,” said EPA Office of Water Assistant Administrator Dave Ross. “The scale and complexity of the 2018 PISCES recognized projects represent the determination, coordination, and creativity our partners put forth to achieve their water quality goals.”

"The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is an extremely important source of funding to ensure communities in the southeast have access to clean, safe drinking water and the infrastructure necessary to support local needs," said EPA Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn.

The city’s wastewater treatment plant operates a two-stage anaerobic digestion system for reduction of sludge. For many years, the system had a heat exchanger that was worn and inoperable, causing biogas collection inefficiencies and the facility to operate with only one heat exchanger. A CWSRF loan in the amount of $7.5 million was used to replace the existing heat exchangers with two new units that are capable of being fueled with either natural gas or biogas from the digestion process. Prior to the project, the city spent approximately $2,300 a month to power the single heat exchanger unit. With the new biogas system in operation and powering the system, those costs are now $330 a month—a monthly savings of $1,970 for the city.

The CWSRF is a federal EPA-state partnership that provides communities a permanent, independent source of low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects. Over the past 31 years, CWSRF programs have provided more than $132 billion in financing for water quality infrastructure.

EPA’s Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) program celebrates innovation demonstrated by CWSRF programs and assistance recipients.

Learn more about each of the 2018 PISCES-recognized projects at https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf/pisces.

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