KDHE loans $4.2+ million for Johnson Co. water district improvement project

Live at Five
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 11:46 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The KDHE has loaned more than $4.2 million to Johnson County to improve the distribution system for one of its rural water districts.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says on Tuesday, July 26, it approved financing for waterline improvements to Johnson Co. Rural Water District No. 7′s distribution system.

KDHE said the financing package will fund the construction of at least four sections of waterlines to provide more efficient hydraulic operation of its distribution system which was previously expanded to include a neighboring district.

The Department noted that the system serves about 6,400 customers in Johnson Co.

“KDHE is proud to be a partner in helping public water supply systems sustainably improve infrastructure and continue to ensure public health,” Leo Henning, KDHE Director of Environment, said.

KDHE indicated the project is expected to be completed by the winter of 2022 and will ensure drinking water systems remain in good operation for the long-term future.

“This project is one aspect of cooperation between entities who believed in combining resources served its patrons better, than singularly,” said Allan Soetaert, Johnson County Rural Water District No. 7′s District Manager. “The Water District is excited to have also received cooperation and encouragement from KDHE in this significant waterline improvement project that will benefit its customers for a long period of time.”

KDHE said financing for the improvements was made possible through a loan it provided with joint funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Kansas Public Water Supply Loan provided $4.235 million, of which $1.27 million will be forgiven.

The Department noted that the KPWSLF provides financing for municipal drinking water infrastructure at interest rates below market. Since 1989, it said the program has provided more than $1 billion to over 250 municipalities in the state.

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