Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)

Many Oklahoma water systems are looking for affordable financing options in order to construct needed drinking water system improvements necessary to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Until 1997, the state did not have a lower than market rate loan program to assist water systems. The 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) allowed EPA to make a grant to Oklahoma to fund a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The primary purpose of the program is to provide low interest loans and other financial assistance to municipalities and rural water districts for the construction of public water supply projects. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) administers the DWSRF and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) assists with the financing requirements of the program.

Systems eligible for loan money include towns and municipalities with proper legal authority and rural water districts established under Title 82 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Private water corporations (for profit) or non-profit water corporations are not eligible for loan money.

The categories of drinking water projects eligible for assistance are:

  • Treatment system
  • Distribution/storage system rehabilitation
  • New transmission/distribution systems
  • New intake/raw water lines
  • New storage
  • Wells

Costs associated with the planning, design and building of the eligible categories of drinking water projects are considered allowable. Eligible construction costs will be based on the lowest responsible bidder. Project-related costs associated with the acquisition of land are eligible only if needed for the purposes of locating eligible project components. The land must be acquired from a willing seller.

Program Requirements are:

  1. Projects must be listed on the DWSRF Project Priority List (PPL) and current Intended Use Plan (IUP) maintained by the DEQ;
  2. Engineering report as required by the DEQ, including a cost-effective analysis;
  3. Sufficient economic and environmental information for the DEQ to issue an environmental decision regarding project impacts;
  4. Public participation/public hearing with public notice;
  5. Project will be required to comply with federal SDWA requirements and federal cross-cutting laws and authorities.
How To Apply

The first step in the process for DWSRF funding is the submission of a Request for Placement Letter, which can be submitted any time during the year. The letter should at minimum include project description, estimated cost of the proposed project, need for the project, and consulting engineer’s contact information. The information in the request letter is used to establish a project’s eligibility for funding, and priority score which is then used for placement on the Project Priority List (PPL). Projects are ranked, in order of their priority score, but funded based on the readiness to proceed as defined in the Intended Use Plan (IUP).

Special Requirements

American Iron and Steel (AIS)

The AIS provisions require DWSRF assistance recipients to use iron and steel products that are produced in the United States for projects for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public water system or treatment works.

Davis-Bacon Wage Rates Requirements

Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements apply to the construction, alteration, or repair of treatment works carried out, in whole or in part, with assistance made available by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.