Water Quality Grants, Loans, and Other Resources
DEQ administers federal and state funds for grants and low-interest loans to eligible entities to conduct specific activities designed to improve the quality of Idaho's water resources. Each grant and loan has its own application requirements and time schedule.
Public Water System Planning Grants
DEQ's Drinking Water Planning Grant Program provides assistance to eligible public drinking water systems for facility planning projects designed to ensure safe and adequate supplies of drinking water. Grants awarded under this program may be used to develop engineering reports identifying the most cost-effective, environmentally sound method of upgrading a public drinking water system to achieve and maintain compliance with state and federal standards. Grants cover up to 50% of eligible planning costs, with a matching share funded by local sources. Learn more.
Public Water System Construction Loans
DEQ's Drinking Water Construction Loan Fund provides below-market-rate interest loans to help repair or build new drinking water facilities. Eligible facilities include water supply, treatment, storage, and distribution facilities. Loans of up to 100% of project costs may be awarded for project planning, design, and/or construction.
Generally, these loans come with a low interest rate and must be fully repaid within 30 years of project completion. Some applicants may qualify as disadvantaged and may be eligible for a lower interest rate. Learn more.
Public Wastewater System Planning Grants
DEQ's Wastewater Planning Grant Program provides financial assistance to eligible entities in Idaho planning to upgrade municipal or nonprofit wastewater facilities. Grants awarded under this program must be used entirely to prepare facility plans that identify the most cost-effective, environmentally sound methods to upgrade eligible wastewater systems to achieve and maintain compliance with state and federal standards. Grants cover up to 50% of eligible planning costs, with the grantee providing a matching share from local sources. Learn more.
Public Wastewater System Construction Loans
The Water Pollution Control State Revolving Loan Fund provides below-market-rate interest loans to help build new or repair existing wastewater treatment facilities. Eligible facilities include treatment plants, interceptor sewers, and collector sewers.
Loans of up to 100% of project costs may be awarded for project planning, design, and/or construction. Loans also may be awarded to address nonpoint source pollution control activities such as effluent trading, upgrading or replacing individual septic tanks, restoring wetlands, treating and controlling storm water, and dealing with agricultural runoff.
These loans come with a low interest rate and must be fully repaid within 30 years of project completion. Some applicants may qualify as disadvantaged and may be eligible for a lower interest rate. Learn more.
Drinking Water and Wastewater Grants and Loans Letter of Interest Forms for FY 20
Each year DEQ develops an Intended Use Plan that includes a listing of priority drinking water and wastewater construction projects eligible for state assistance. The process of developing the plan begins annually in October when DEQ invites communities to submit Letters of Interest (LOIs) indicating their interest in obtaining grants or loans to improve or expand their drinking water and wastewater systems. LOI forms are posted to DEQ's website at that time and are due to DEQ in early January. Learn more.
Green Project Reserve
As a condition to receiving federal funds for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects, federal law requires states to allocate not less than 20% of funds for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements to environmentally friendly projects. Learn more and link to information on Idaho's GPR projects.
Source Water Protection Grants
Source Water Protection Grants provide funding for projects to protect sources of public drinking water. Projects are expected to provide long-term benefits to drinking water quality, quantity, awareness, and/or security. Learn more.
Nonpoint Source Management §319 Subgrants
Section 319 of the Clean Water Act established a grant program under which states, territories, and tribes may receive funds to support a wide variety of nonpoint source pollution management activities. DEQ is the state agency responsible for administering this grant program in Idaho.
A successful grant must focus on improving the water quality of lakes, streams, rivers, and aquifers. Funds may be used to address a variety of nonpoint source management and prevention activities in the areas of agriculture, urban storm water runoff, transportation, silviculture/forestry, mining, ground water activities, and hydrologic and habitat modification and related activities. Learn more.
Before funds can be provided for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects, an environmental assessment must be conducted to identify how the project will impact the environment. The project may be assessed as having no significant impact on the environment or an environmental impact statement may be required. Learn more.