Iowa Water and Wastewater Improvement Grant and Loan Programs
By Scott Lee
Are you an Iowa community…
- Facing new DNR wastewater discharge regulations, drinking water quality and/or aging infrastructure?
- In search of grants or loans to help finance improvements for water and wastewater infrastructure?
There are some funding programs currently available in Iowa including United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, Iowa Economic Development Authority Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the Iowa Finance Authority State Revolving Fund (SRF).
USDA Rural Development Loan and Grant Program
The Rural Development program provides funding for local government entities of populations less than 10,000 people.
- Funds typically provided are long-term, low-interest loans in combination with a grant to keep user costs reasonable.
- Loan terms of up to 40 years are available in some cases and interest rates vary.
- Applications are accepted year-round after the completion of a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER).
- Funds are available to cover engineering fees including the PER, design, land acquisition and other costs necessary for completion.
Learn more: Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program in Iowa
Iowa Economic Development Authority CDBG Grant Program
The CDBG program provides funding for local government entities of populations less than 50,000 people with low to moderate incomes.
- Maximum funding requests are based on community population and range from $300,000 to $800,000.
- Eligible projects include construction and expansion of water and wastewater treatment facilities, rehabilitation and construction of water and wastewater collection systems, water storage tanks, wells and stormwater/sanitary sewer separation.
- All distributed funds are in the form of a grant and do not have to be repaid by the community.
Learn more: Water and Sewer Fund
Iowa Finance Authority State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Program
The SRF loan program is available for both planning and design (P&D) and construction costs.
- P&D loans have no maximum amounts and are provided at 0% interest for 3 years.
- These are typically rolled into the construction loan once design is complete.
- Projects are ranked based upon a scoring system, but funds are currently sufficient to fund all eligible projects.
- Separate processes are in place to obtain drinking water versus clean water (wastewater) funding with both requiring an engineering report.
- Current construction loan interest rates are 1.75% for loans up to 20 years with extended financing up to 30 years also available.
- All distributed funds are in the form of a loan and must be repaid by the community.
Learn more: Iowa State Revolving Fund
For clean water SRF projects, additional funds identified as sponsored projects are also potentially available for up to 10% of the total wastewater project cost.
- The project must be for a nonpoint water resources restoration project within the wastewater utilities watershed.
- The project is financed through a loan interest rate reduction from the 1.75% rate resulting in no cost impact for your community.
Learn more: Iowa Clean Water State Revolving Fund
Look for firms with the expertise necessary to successfully obtain funding for and complete many types of projects for your community. Partner with a firm that has a proven record in helping communities like yours to successfully apply for, secure, and administer various grant and loan programs.
Communities of all sizes have a need for safe and reliable water and wastewater solutions. With a broad background and experience in both the government and private consulting professions across several states, I have learned there is more than one solution for a successful project as each community and situation is unique. I understand the importance of designing facilities that function from my client’s perspective which requires listening and learning about each community’s needs. As an environmental engineer, it is a privilege to see the results of my work as it provides a positive impact on communities and our natural resources.