ST. GEORGE — Utah received a major financial boost Tuesday when the federal government announced it has earmarked significant funding for upgrades to the state’s drinking water and clean water infrastructure.

Pine Valley Reservoir reflects nearby mountains at the Pine Valley Recreation Area, Utah, Oct. 19, 2023 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, St. George News

According to a news release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Utah is due $43,861,000, which is part of a $5.8 billion investment through the national Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.

“This funding represents a significant opportunity to support Utah’s interests in improving our water resilience and security,” Utah Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Kim Shelley said in the news release. “We look forward to working with communities across the state to make multigenerational investments in water infrastructure that will protect and improve public health, provide jobs, and support economic development.”

Approximately  half of this funding will be available as grants or principal forgiveness loans, ensuring funds reach underserved communities most in need of investments in water infrastructure.

“Over the past three years, EPA has invested nearly $175 million for new and upgraded wastewater and drinking water services in Utah communities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker said in the news release. “These projects are building new treatment and delivery systems, creating jobs and securing healthy watersheds and safe drinking water across the state.”

Since 2022, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has injected over $175 million into water infrastructure projects across Utah protecting public health, preserving water resources and creating jobs, the news release said. These funds are provided to state revolving funds managed by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, which identifies priority projects across the state.

Of the nationwide project, the EPA noted the following:

Communities across the country are facing water infrastructure challenges. Many cities and towns have aging water infrastructure – old, broken or lead pipes carrying drinking water and wastewater treatment plants in need of major upgrades.  Some communities struggle to maintain adequate stormwater infrastructure to effectively manage flood impacts from climate change and others need to upgrade their water treatment to address emerging contaminants like PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances).

For more information, including state-by-state allocations of 2024 funding and a breakdown of EPA State Revolving Fund funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, visit the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund website and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund website.