State loaning money to help with northwest Ohio water problems - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

State loaning money to help with northwest Ohio water problems

Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A press conference was held Thursday morning at Swartz Farms in Perrysburg to announce that more money will be coming to Ohio in efforts to improve the area water.

The loan announced will help with purchasing testing equipment, research, and help farmers control runoff.

Water treatment plants such as Collins Park Water Treatment in Toledo will be awarded a $150 million, zero percent interest loan.

Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler says this is one of the first steps in reassuring residents the water is safe.

"We think that's one of the very first steps," said Butler. "One of the very first things they can do to be giving assurances to their communities that they're providing them with a safe drinking water supply, is to make sure they've got the equipment on hand to test that, on whatever frequency they would like."

Farmers in Ohio will also have $1.25 million available to plant cover crops or install controlled drainage devices.

Butler says the goal is to protect against nutrient runoff and help support water quality.

"It's part of our existing overall state revolving loan fund that facilities would have been able to access beforehand," said Butler. "We're simply carving it out, and making it specifically available for these particular topics related to harmful algae and bacteria."

Ohio universities will also be given two million dollars for more extensive research on algal blooms.

The $150 million loan to the public water systems is not just for the Toledo area but a statewide effort.

Butler says letters were sent out about the loans Thursday and anyone who qualifies can call them to get the application process started. 

Related: Northwest Ohio farmers, government discuss programs to help algal bloom

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