A	Funding Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems
with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund
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A decentralized wastewater treatment system - a package plant - serving an apartment building in Suffolk County, New York
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean
Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is a low interest
source of funding for the installation, repair, and upgrad-
ing of decentralized wastewater treatment systems. Pro-
jects that may be eligible for CWSRF funding include:
•	New system installation (single and cluster systems).
•	Replacement, upgrade, or modification of inadequate
or failing systems.
•	Costs associated with the establishment of a central-
ized management entity (e.g., permitting and legal
•	Capita! associated with management programs (e.g.,
trucks, storage buildings, spare parts)
CWSRF programs in each state and Puerto Rico operate
like banks. Federal and state contributions are used to
capitalize the programs. These assets are used to make
iow- or no-interest loans for important water quality pro-
jects. Funds are then repaid to the CWSRFs over terms as
iong as 30 years and are recycled to fund other water
quality and public health projects.
The CWSRF may provide assistance to any public, private
or non-profit entity for decentralized projects. Eligible
loan recipients include community groups, farmers,
homeowners, small businesses, conservation districts,
and nonprofit organizations. Since the program is man-
aged by the states, project funding and eligibility require-
ments vary according to the priorities, policies, and laws
within each state.
The EPA encourages states to open their CWSRFs to the
widest variety of eligible water quality and public health
projects. Those interested in implementing or upgrading
a decentralized treatment system should seek out their
CWSRF program to determine whether their state
CWSRF has the legal authority to make loans for decen-
tralized projects, and participate in the annual process
that determines which projects are funded. The list of
CWSRF state programs can be found on our website at:
Here are some questions to ask the CWSRF in your state:
•	Does the state have the legal authority to use its
CWSRF for decentralized systems?
•	Does the state CWSRF enabling legislation provide
the legal authority to provide loans to an individual or
private entity?
•	Has the state committed to funding decentralized
systems in its CWSRF Intended Use Plan (I UP)?
•	If not, what can I do to help get these systems listed
on theIUP?
•	Can an individual or private entity receive a CWSRF
loan for a decentralized system?
•	If not, can I receive a CWSRF loan through a pass-
through entity?
The CWSRF in your state wiil be able to guide you

Potential borrowers must identify a repayment source before
a loan is approved. Though finding a source of repayment may
prove challenging, it does not have to be burdensome. Many
recipients demonstrate a high level of creativity in developing
sources of repayment. The source of repayment need not
come from the project itself.
Some potential repayment sources include:
•	Property owner's ability to pay (determined during loan
•	Fees paid by developers
•	Recreational fees (fishing licenses, entrance fees)
•	Dedicated portions of local, county, or state taxes or fees
•	Donations or dues made to nonprofit groups
•	Stormwater management fees
•	Wastewater user charges
The Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency (CWFA)
successfully developed innovative partnership programs
and lending practices such as the Community Septic Sys-
tem Loan Program (CSSLP). To expand its borrower base,
the Rhode Island CWFA crafted CSSLP in cooperation with
the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Manage-
ment and Rhode Island Housing. The CSSLP puts low in-
terest SRF funds within reach of all communities and al
lows them to access the SRF to repair or replace septic
systems when necessary. Thus far, the Rhode Island
CWFA has made CSSLP loans totaling $2.95 million. Ap-
proximately 400 septic systems have been repaired or
replaced to date, resulting in significantly improved water
quality in many of their small communities.
A CWSRF-funded decentralized wastewater treatment sys-
tem in Lincoln County, West Virginia,
The Alabama Department of Environmental Manage-
ment made $15 million in financial assistance availa-
ble to the South Alabama Utilities using funds from
the FY 2008 Clean Water State Revolving Fund
(CWSRF) loan program. The proposed work is ex-
pected to cost about $1.25 million and will consist of
the construction of decentralized wastewater treat-
ment systems in three subdivisions: Colleton, Labra-
dor Run, and Johnson Road. Proper use of decentral-
ized treatment and disposal is a cost-effective, envi-
ronmentally sound option for meeting public demand
for sewer service and avoiding potential health con-
cerns related to the use of septic tanks.
For more information about the CWSRF please contact us at;
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Clean Water State Revolving Fund Branch
Office of Water, Office of Wastewater Management
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (Mailcode 4204M)
Washington, DC 20460
EPA 832F16006
JUNE 2016