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Central Iron County Water Conservancy District recognized for drinking water achievements

Release Date: 09/04/2009
Contact Information: Karin Tatum 303 312-7823; Richard Mylott 303 312-6654

(Denver, Colo. -- September 4, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District in Iron County, Utah, with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Award for Sustainable Public Health Protection. The district is being recognized for significant and innovative investments in safe drinking water, including the extension of a centralized water distribution system to areas throughout the county.

    In 2008, the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District (District), along with Iron County, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, used a DWSRF loan to plan, design and complete a consolidation process which combined several different drinking water systems into a single, regional water distribution system. Prior to the project, several small drinking water systems were operating independently throughout the valley, with varying success with regards to compliance. The District brought all of these systems under the umbrella of a single entity and now provides residents of these communities with safe drinking water and improved public health.

    "The Central Iron County Water Conservancy District offers a potent example of the type of innovation that will help our nation's communities provide safe drinking water for decades to come," said Carol Rushin, EPA's Acting Regional Administrator in Denver. “The effort that has been made to extend safe drinking water infrastructure is a clear investment in the future health of Iron County's communities."

    Since the first Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan was made in 1997, assistance recipients have shown exceptional creativity in designing projects that promote sustainability and protect public health. The 2008 DWSRF Awards for Sustainable Public Health Protection recognize the most innovative and effective projects that further the goal of clean and safe water through exceptional planning, management and finance.

    The projects had to meet three mandatory criteria to qualify for the Awards, including compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, financial integrity and public health benefits. Each nominee had to demonstrate leadership in at least one or more of the following criteria: better management practices, full-cost pricing/affordability, efficient water use, watershed approach, innovation in financing, innovative approach to planning and/or project implementation, and creative use of partnerships.

    The Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended in 1996, established the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program to make funds available to drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The program also emphasizes providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.

    For more, visit EPA's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund web site.