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Eligible “sponsors” or applicants for SRF loans are municipalities, counties and special purpose districts. Non-profit, non-community systems established under state law are eligible for the Drinking Water SRF. To be eligible for SRF assistance, the project sponsor must have a revenue stream sufficient to provide a reliable repayment source.
Some projects are not eligible for SRF assistance, including projects for the general operation or maintenance of a system. In addition, drinking water projects that are primarily for growth or fire protection are not eligible for SRF funding.
Eligible activities include waste water treatment plants, interceptors, collection systems and related facilities, line relocation for road widening and non-point source improvements. Projects may address environmental, growth or economic development needs. Specific examples include:
• New, Upgrade or Expansion of a Waste Water Treatment Plant
• Sewer Line Rehabilitation or Replacement
• New or Rehabilitated Pump Stations
• New or Improved Collection Systems
• Non-point Source Projects
• Relocation of Sewer Lines due to Road Widening Projects
Eligible activities include water supply/distribution facilities needed to achieve or maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and relocation of water lines for highway widening projects. Examples of Drinking Water Projects include:
• New, Upgrade or Expansion of a Surface Water Treatment Plant
• Water Storage Facilities
• New or Rehabilitation of Water Lines
• Looping of Distribution Lines
• Interconnecting Systems
• Addition of New Wells
• Water Meter Replacement
• Relocation of Water Lines due to Road Widening Projects
Interested parties, or “sponsors”, complete and submit a project questionnaire (PQ) to DHEC. The PQ is a notice of interest or intent and may be submitted at any time. Next, the sponsor should contact RIA to determine the financial qualifications needed for assistance. Projects are evaluated using the SRF priority ranking system established by DHEC. Those sponsors determined eligible to apply for a loan and projects deemed ready to proceed are included in the Intended Use Plan which is published annually. The number of projects each year varies based on the amount of available funds. Loans are not finalized for selected projects until sponsors have demonstrated sustainability, obtained a permit for construction, complied with SRF bidding requirements and completed the loan approval process. Loan applications may be submitted between October 1 and July 31. The following chart outlines the steps in that process.