The Nebraska Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF) program provides low interest loans and small community matching grants to municipalities for construction of wastewater treatment facilities and sanitary sewer collection systems to alleviate public health and environmental problems. The loan principal repayments go into new loans and interest earnings on the Fund is used 1) to pay off the state match bond issues and 2) to make new loans.
Helping Communities Address Funding Needs
The NDEQ and the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) jointly administer certain provision of the CWSRF Assistance Act. NIFA is authorized to issue revenue bonds to provide funds for NDEQ to loan to municipalities within the state.
Nebraska’s CWSRF interest rate system is defined in an annual Intended Use Plan. Current CWSRF loan rates can be obtained from NDEQ. CWSRF loans have been made to over 180 communities statewide.
How Can Your Community Receive a Clean Water SRF Loan?
To receive a CWSRF loan, communities need to comply with some basic requirements:
- Projects must be eligible for funding under the CWSRF program, and be placed on the priority list of the annual Intended Use Plan.
- Communities must comply with planning requirements and have an engineer’s report prepared by a professional engineer.
- Communities must sign a loan contract and pledge a revenue source for repayment. The maximum term for a loan is 20 years.
- Loans must be repaid with interest charged at the rate that a community qualifies for under the interest rate system in the Intended Use Plan.
It is important that communities consider all options available for funding wastewater construction projects and other water quality management activities. CWSRF loans can be combined with other federal and state funding assistance. By combining sources, particularly grants if available, communities can make their projects more affordable. For more information on related wastewater and drinking water funds available through the state, return to Wastewater and Drinking Water Financial Assistance Programs.
How to Get Started
To begin planning a wastewater system, the first step is to contact the NDEQ Financial Assistance SRF Section at (402) 471-4200. Staff can help guide you through the planning process, and identify alternative financing sources. All publicly-owned borrowers are encouraged to submit to NDEQ a joint water/wastewater pre-application for state and/or federal assistance.
The basic steps include:
- Complete and submit the annual Clean Water SRF Needs Survey to the state. (This survey is mailed to communities every fall, and is due by December 31st. The state uses this information to develop an Intended Use Plan, which is a detailed prioritization of projects.)
- Hire a professional engineer registered in Nebraska. Click here to refer to a List of Consultants
- Develop an engineering report showing that present and future conditions and environmental impacts have been reviewed, alternative design approaches have been identified and assessed, and the best affordable alternative has been selected.
- Identify possible alternative financing sources. You should explore how the CWSRF program and other state, federal and local sources can be combined to provide the best financing approach.
- Develop community support for the proposed wastewater works improvements. Managers should communicate the need for new facilities to residents, identify how the selected approach is well-suited for the community, and implement a user fee system to cover facility costs.
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