Sarasota County wins EPA loan to improve water quality in Bee Ridge

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SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Sarasota County has secured a loan from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to pay for improvements to the Bee Ridge water harvesting facility. The loan will finance the improvement of wastewater treatment processes and increase the daily capacity of the site.

Upgrades to the Bee Ridge water harvesting facility will be funded halfway through the loan, according to county officials. The loan stands at $ 105 million and was provided with funding set aside by the Law on the financing and innovation of hydraulic infrastructures.

With planned improvements, Sarasota County said the nutrients in the recovered water will meet advanced wastewater treatment requirements by December 2025, with the improvements to target the conversion of Bee Ridge to an AWT process. .

In terms of expansion, the facility’s treatment capacity will increase from 12 million gallons of water per day to 18 million. The upgrades were approved by county commissioners in June 2019. Other facility upgrades include recharge wells from two aquifers for wet-weather liquid waste disposal.

“This loan will help improve and protect the quality of our water and save our citizens money,” said Sarasota County Commissioners Chairman Alan Maio. “This continues to be a priority for our board of directors, and the support of the EPA is a testament to our continued commitment to fiscal and environmental responsibility. “

County officials said the community’s financial stability kept the loan interest rate low, just 1.84 percent, and saved the county nearly $ 10 million. compared to the initial expected cost. Only 55 communities across the United States were selected to receive the loans.

The project is expected to be inaugurated in 2022.

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