The state's efforts to help communities improve their water supplies has earned honors from the feds.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment was recently awarded the 2007 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Award for Sustainable Health Protection by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA singled out Kansas for its Public Water Supply Loan Fund. The program provides low interest rate financing to municipalities so they can improve their public drinking water systems.
The EPA cited KDHE for its ability to form partnerships that streamlined the process for processing loan applications from cities, counties and rural water districts.
“The Kansas Public Water Supply Loan Fund provides much needed financial assistance to small communities to protect public health by providing safe drinking water,” KDHE Water Bureau Director Karl Mueldener said in a statement. “We’ve developed a user friendly process which makes it easy for small towns and water districts to get low interest loans.”
Water systems serving communities of less than 5,000 have received 81 percent of the loans, and 38 percent of the available funds. Mueldener says including small systems has been a priority.
KDHE also earned the award in 2005. EPA presents the awards every two years to states that show outstanding performance and leadership in areas such as management practices, efficient water use, innovative partnerships and other areas.