Service Area Strategic Plan
Department of Health (601)
Service Area 1 of 1
Drinking Water Construction Financing (601 508 02)
This service area implements the federal Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program (DWSRF) and the Virginia Water Supply Assistance Grant Program (WSAG). The purpose of this service area is to help public waterworks make infrastructure improvements necessary to ensure continued provision of safe drinking water and to help protect public health.
Mission Alignment and Authority
Describe how this service supports the agency mission
This service area directly aligns with Virginia Department of Health's (VDH’s) mission of promoting and protecting the health of Virginians by assuring an adequate quality and quantity of safe and affordable drinking water to consumers.
Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
Code of Virginia Title 32.1 Chapter 6 Sections 32.1-167 through 32.1-176 establishes authority to regulate construction and operation of waterworks in Virginia.
Code of Virginia Title 32.1 Chapter 6 Sections 32.1-171.2 establishes the Virginia Water Supply Assistance Fund Program in Virginia.
Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, 1974, as amended in 1986 and 1996 establishes the DWSRF Program in Section 1452, “State Revolving Loan Funds,” of the Act.
Virginia’s Appropriation Act establishes that VDH will control and manage monies appropriated for safe drinking water.
Code of Virginia Title 2.2 Chapter 6 Section 2.2-611 authorizes state agencies to accept grants from agencies and departments of the United States.
|Agency Customer Group
||Customers served annually
||Potential annual customers
||Affiliated interests (engineers, contractors, attorneys, product manufacturers)
||Other governmental agencies (local, state, and federal)
Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
• The number of public waterworks owners is expected to remain relatively stable with a slight downward trend due to the number and complexity of drinking water regulations and a trend toward regionalization.
• Although operators are licensed by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, VDH provides a variety of training to increase technical capability at waterworks. Training will increase as operators seek to enhance their skills in a changing environment within the drinking water industry or as new persons seek entry.
• VDH foresees more citizens on public waterworks as the existing owners are improving and expanding their existing waterworks due to population growth.
• Existing waterworks are extending their service areas to include homes served by individual wells, springs or cisterns with drinking water health concerns.
• VDH expects to see an increase in the number of affiliated interests such as consulting engineers, attorneys, product manufacturers and general construction contractors as increasing regulations are implemented and waterworks owners maintain, update, or expand their infrastructure facilities to cope with the mandated changes and the normal growth.
Other governmental agencies:
• VDH will increase involvement with numerous agencies at local, state, and federal levels by either providing technical assistance or by coordinating functions to better serve mutual clients as they relate to providing safe affordable drinking water.
• Changing focuses, envisioned needs, security concerns and/or regulatory mandates will demand VDH’s continued involvement with other agencies at all levels.
Products and Services
Factors Impacting the Products and/or Services:
The federal DWSRF appropriation is distributed to each state based on that state’s proportional share of the total eligible needs reported for the most recent Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey. The survey results were released March 26, 2009 and will be used to calculate state grant allotments for DWSRF appropriations made in fiscal years 2010 through 2013. The US EPA has indicated that Virginia may receive an increase of $16.2 million in response to the critical needs identified by the Needs Survey. The award of this allotment is contingent upon Virginia providing a reported twenty percent (20%) state match to receive the federal dollars. Any decrease in DWSRF funding will result in less funds being available for waterworks to improve, upgrade, or expand their drinking water infrastructure and less funding to administer the construction program and support the regulatory program.
The Appropriations Act provides general funds totaling $7.1 million for the WSAG and DWSRF programs. Reduction in these funds will reduce the amount of DWSRF funds awarded to Virginia if the Commonwealth cannot meet the required twenty percent (20%) state match of $5 million.
Upcoming federal regulations will place additional emphasis on waterworks improvements that are needed in order to maintain compliance with regulations. This will increase the demand for drinking water infrastructure funding.
A reduction in grant funds from co-funding partners will increase demand on this program and impact our ability to make projects affordable.
Anticipated Changes to the Products and/or Services
An increased demand is anticipated from our customers for construction projects to address challenges associated with aging critical infrastructure and changing source water quality.
Reduced funding will limit the program’s ability to support local water utilities to address water quality and quantity needs in the future.
Listing of Products and/or Services
- Financial assistance: Provide below market interest to zero interest loans for a term not to exceed 30 years to community and non-profit non-community waterworks for eligible drinking water infrastructure projects. Provide grants to community and non-profit non-community waterworks to fund from 10% to 100% of eligible drinking water infrastructure projects costs. Affordable financing helps to ensure delivery of safe and affordable drinking water to citizens of the Commonwealth.
- Planning and design grants: 100% grant funds awarded to community waterworks for eligible costs. Assist waterworks owners in recognizing problems and producing needed planning and design documents that identify optimum solutions. Assist waterworks owners to qualify for various construction funding.
- Technical oversight: Provide oversight of funded projects to ensure that waterworks fully understand and follow all applicable rules and regulations. Determination that funded projects have undergone an environmental review in accordance with VDH’s approved process. Determination that funded projects have properly followed federal and state procurement regulations including Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise. Determination that funded projects have complied with federal cross-cutting authorities. Determination that funded projects have undergone the proper public notices.
- Construction inspection: Onsite inspections to determine if construction progress is consistent with funds disbursed. Offer assistance to keep project on track.
- Manage Special US EPA Appropriation Projects: Oversee special federal budget line item drinking water infrastructure projects in Virginia to ensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations. Assist localities and waterworks owners in complying with federal rules and regulations included in their grant agreement with US EPA.
- Guidance and regulatory development: Establish requirements for complex program operation. Give clear, concise, streamlined, and understandable guidance to waterworks owners on the various funding program requirements.
- Customer service: Provide various services to a variety of customers including waterworks owners, consulting engineers, contractors, non-profit organizations, other state and federal funding partners, and universities. Provide training through professional development course, small system management institute, and on-site funding workshops. Provide technical assistance by assisting in project identification and completion of funding applications.
- Training scholarships for waterworks owners/operators: Award training scholarships to waterworks owners/operators to assist owners and operators in broadening their knowledge of waterworks technical, financial and managerial needs.
- Create new assistance resources: Administer a receivership program where the courts can appoint a receiver to take control of and responsibility for a waterworks that is unable or unwilling to provide adequate and safe drinking water. Provide funding for development and maintenance of the Distance Learning Website at Mountain Empire Community College where individuals can earn an Associates Degree in Water Treatment Operations. Establishment of a $10 million Southwest Virginia Endowment using funds from the DWSRF program to provide funding for drinking water infrastructure projects in Planning Districts 1 and 2 which includes the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Russell, Tazewell, Buchanan and the City of Norton.
Service Area Objectives
Increase Virginia's citizens access to safe and affordable drinking water
This service area provides technical and financial resources to localities and waterworks to improve existing waterworks or extend service to areas without public waterworks; thereby delivering safe and affordable drinking water. State and federal laws mandate drinking water requirements to protect the public health and welfare . Citizen access to safe and affordable drinking water is critical to their overall quality of life, and is a key component of the VDH mission.
Alignment to Agency Goals
- Agency Goal: Assure provision of clean, safe drinking water to the citizens and visitors of the Commonwealth.
Comment: This objective is also aligned with Virginia’s long term objectives to “Protect the public’s safety and
security, ensuring a fair and effective system of justice and providing a prepared response to emergencies and disasters of all kinds” and “Inspire and support Virginians toward healthy lives and strong and resilient families."
- Provide technical assistance to localities, waterworks owners, and others in using the program.
- Assist in identifying projects that promote access to safe drinking water.
- Conduct annual workshops in six locations across the state to provide specific training on
funding applications preparation and funding requirements.
- Provide timely and complete review of funding applications.
- Refine web-based information and add more information if needed.
- Collaborate with co-funding partners to assemble the most appropriate financial package for the
- Monitor available financial resources of the type needed (grants and low interest loans) and make
budget recommendations to VDH’s senior management.
- Monitor funding recipients’ progress on tasks needed to complete the project on time and if a recipient does not have sufficient progress staff will encourage timely completion thereby ensuring that citizens benefit as quickly as possible.
Link to State Strategy
The number of additional Virginia citizens who will gain access to safe and affordable drinking water will increase.
Measure Baseline Value:
Measure Baseline Description: Number of citizens
Measure Target Value:
Measure Target Description: Number of citizens
Long-range Measure Target Value:
Long-range Measure Target Description: Number of citizens
Data Source and Calculation: This measure is a cumulative number of citizens provided adequate quality and quantity of drinking water as a result of loans and/or grants from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Water Supply Assistance Grant programs. Progress is calculated using information from the Office of Drinking Water’s internal database that tracks the number of people who benefit from improved water quality as a result of the financial assistance for construction projects. This benefit may be as a result of improved water quality for those currently connected to the system or through the extension of service to citizens with failing private systems. The measure target is cumulative; the quarterly number is based on completed projects during that quarter and is added to the previous sum. Information provided by the funding recipient is validated by onsite inspections and program reporting requirements.