Press Release

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank Finances Small Water System Improvements

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December 1, 2020

Press Release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (Infrastructure Bank) announced $1.9 million in principal forgiveness loans through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) for small water systems in Tiverton, Chepachet, and Richmond. Upon completion, the three projects will improve water quality, system resilience and lessen the financial burden on the communities.

Hillsdale Housing Cooperative, a residential community located in Richmond for those aged 55 and older, received a $1,230,919 principal forgiveness loan. The cooperative utilized the forgivable loan to fund comprehensive system and distribution upgrades to its deteriorating community drinking water system.

Lawrence Sunset Cove Association, a homeowner’s association located in Tiverton, received a $576,100 principal forgiveness loan to improve its water supply, treatment technologies and distribution systems. These preemptive upgrades will ensure that the well-based community water system continues to deliver safe, and quality water to residents.

The Harmony Hill School received a $100,000 principal forgiveness loan to fund improvements to its drinking water distribution, treatment and pumping infrastructure. Harmony Hill School is a day and residential youth developmental facility located in Glocester. 

“A number of rural Rhode Island communities gain access to drinking water through small drinking water systems,” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, CEO of the Infrastructure Bank. “Improvements to these aging systems can be cost prohibitive, which is why the Infrastructure Bank and EPA strive to provide these small and, often, disadvantaged communities with loan forgiveness. Ultimately, access to clean drinking water is an inherent right of all Rhode Islander’s - irrespective of their income levels.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 90% of New England's drinking water systems are small or disadvantaged. Of this 90%, a vast majority utilize ground water sources. Small systems provide drinking water to less than 3,300 people and often have limited financial and operational resources compared to larger systems.

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is a financing program that provides below-market interest rate loans to public and private drinking water systems to complete water infrastructure upgrades. To date, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has provided more than $615 million in low-cost project-financing to 29 water systems across the State. In turn, these dollars drive public health improvements and support more than 17,500 well-paying jobs across Rhode Island’s building trades. 

About Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank:

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is Rhode Island’s central hub for financing infrastructure improvements for municipalities, businesses, and homeowners. We leverage capital in a revolving fund to offer innovative financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, road and bridge, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and brownfield remediation. These quality of life projects improve the State’s infrastructure, create jobs, promote economic development and enhance the environment. For more information, please visit www.riib.org.