Cities tap State Revolving Fund for water infrastructure needs

​Many South Carolina cities and towns are positioning themselves for future growth by upgrading their aged or inadequate water and sewer infrastructure.

A key part of that, however, is finding ways to pay for significant water and sewer infrastructure improvements, which will have long-term benefits to city residents and businesses as well as the environment.

Such infrastructure projects typically come with significant upfront costs, and conventional financing can be difficult for some cities and towns to afford. For those projects that qualify, the S.C. State Revolving Fund offers several advantages, such as low-cost loan financing for extended terms of up to 30 years and low closing costs.

Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority connecting two surface water treatment plants Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority connecting two surface water treatment plants
The Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority is connecting two surface
water treatment plants with the help of a State Revolving Fund loan.
Credit/Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority

The Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority secured a SRF loan to connect two surface water treatment plants, Bull Creek and Myrtle Beach. This interconnection provides the system with a back-up water source should there be an emergency need and further builds capacity for supplemental demand as growth continues in the unincorporated areas.

"The SRF Loan program gives us financial opportunities to construct critical capital projects while providing affordable, sustainable water service to our customers," said Fred Richardson, chief executive officer of the Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority.

The project, which is still under construction, will serve more than 235,000 customers and is estimated to cost about $5.9 million.

The City of Dillon identified a different need from that of the Grand Strand authority but one that was also critical to Dillon's future development.

A Department of Transportation bridge replacement project required the city to seek funding to relocate a large sewer force main that ran parallel to the Little Pee Dee River Bridge. With an estimated cost of $491,000, Dillon secured a SRF loan to manage the unanticipated expense that comes with utility relocation.

The S.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority, in partnership with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, will offer a one-day workshop to inform potential applicants of the technical and financial aspects of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. It will be held at 9 a.m., February 9, at the Saluda Shoals Park – River Center in Columbia.

The benefits of a State Revolving Fund loan include: 

  • Interest rates of 1.9 percent
  • Fixed-rate financing for up to 30 years
  • Low 0.35 percent closing cost
  • Up to 100 percent financing of all eligible costs
  • Deferral of principal and interest through construction
  • Option to capitalize interest at the end of deferred period
  • No debt service reserve fund for borrowers with at least an "A" credit rating
    Financial advisor not required