Recently passed capital budget unlocks 2018 funds to support clean water

Ecology is offering nearly $220 million in financial assistance for 163 high-priority clean water projects across Washington state. This funding, for the last fiscal year 2018 (July 2017 through June 2018), was held up when the capital budget was not passed during the previous legislative session. Now, these projects can move forward to support jobs and water quality projects in local communities.

Our funding supports local communities by helping them upgrade sewage treatment systems, manage polluted stormwater runoff, and complete a variety of projects to prevent pollution. We also recently ended a public comment period for this fiscal year’s (2019) funding.

Here are a few project highlights

Nonpoint pollution projects

Thirty-five projects are receiving $16 million in grants and loans to address nonpoint pollution that comes from widespread, hard-to-trace activities. Two projects will also receive $9 million to repair or replace on-site sewage systems.

Examples of these projects include:

  • Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Pierce County
    We have offered Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department in association with the nonprofit lender, Craft3, and 15 other counties a $1.5 million grant, a $1.5 million forgivable loan (funding that does not need to be paid back), and a $5 million low-interest-rate loan to expand the Regional Septic Program. The program provides affordable loans to homeowners and small businesses to repair failing onsite septic systems.
  • Spokane Conservation District, Spokane County
    Spokane Conservation District will receive a $500,000 grant and a $3.3 million loan to reduce soil erosion through direct-seeding, creating riparian buffers, and implementing the Farmed Smart Sustainable Agriculture certification. Spokane Conservation District will partner with Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association and Palouse Rock Lake Conservation District for this project.

Wastewater projects 

Thirty wastewater treatment projects are receiving $110 million in funding. Thirteen of the projects qualify for special hardship financial assistance due to their potential impact on residential sewer bills.

High-priority wastewater hardship projects include:

  • Warden, Grant County
    City of Warden will receive a $500,000 grant and a $1 million loan to extend its sewer system to include homes who currently discharge waste to an unlined lagoon. The project will decommission the lagoon which will help protect the city’s drinking water from contamination. 
  • Carbonado, Pierce County
    Town of Carbonado will receive a $4.7 million grant and a $3 million loan to replace its old, failing sewer system that was installed in the early 1900s. This failing system is a threat to public health and the environment. If the system fails, it would risk raw sewage entering the environment and coming into contact with the public. Also, replacing this system will improve the water quality in the upper Carbon River.

Stormwater projects

Ninety-six communities across the state are receiving a total of $45 million in grants and loans to implement projects that focus on reducing stormwater pollution. In addition, 67 stormwater projects from fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017 that were in “delayed” status are offered about $39 million in grants.

The highest-priority stormwater projects include:

  • Tacoma, Pierce County
    City of Tacoma will receive a $5 million grant and a $3.2 million loan to improve water quality in the Flett Creek Watershed. The project will improve water quality by installing permeable pavement, providing basic treatment, and reducing stormwater flows from 17 blocks in the Tacoma Mall Neighborhood
  • Spokane Valley, Spokane County
    City of Spokane Valley will receive a $654,732 grant for a low-impact development project. The project will design and install bio-infiltration swales to treat stormwater runoff along a major street and eliminate three acres of street runoff.

More information

Find out more about clean water financial assistance on our website. See the full funding offer list.

Interactive map of Washington displaying project locations

Find projects in your area using our interactive map online.