GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced it was allocating millions of dollars in funding to protect North Carolina surface and drinking waters.
The organization granted the state nearly $62 million in funding.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is one of the funds benefiting from the announcement. The fund works to update old wastewater systems, enhance water reuse and recycling efforts and will address storm water issues.
Environment protection group, Sound Rivers, tells 9OYS they are hopeful the money will help make North Carolina waters cleaner and safer.
“Aging wastewater infrastructure and drinking water infrastructure is a huge problem in North Carolina,” said Jill Howell, Tar-Pamlico Riverkeeper, Sound Rivers, “It’s a huge problem in a lot of states but we see lots of problems around these two things, so any type of investment is a good thing.”
Nearly $33 million of the grant total will also benefit the state’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund.
“Some of the problems that we see associated with these aging infrastructure systems is there is a lot of sanitary sewer overflow,” said Howell. “Basically, that means raw sanitary sewage is ending up in our surface waters and really just impacting the quality of our waters for both recreation, fishing, drinking water.”
They money will be used to create loans which help drinking water systems install treatment for contaminants. It will also work to remove lead service lines and improve systems after flooding.
The announcement from the EPA coincides with organizations 50th anniversary and with its February theme of protecting American waters.