State loaning money to help with northwest Ohio water problems - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

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 inPerrysburg to announce that more money will be coming to Ohio in efforts toimprove 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 Toledowill be awarded a $150 million, zero percent interest loan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Butler saysletters were sent out about the loans Thursday and anyone who qualifies cancall them to get the application process started. 

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

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