EPA lauds infrastructure success at Erie drinking water facility
EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson joined
federal, state and local officials today to mark the completion of major
improvements to the Sigsbee Pump Station – a key facility supplying
drinking water to the city of Erie and surrounding communities.
The administrator’s visit is one of the first stops on a national tour
to highlight the importance of water infrastructure.
“Our nation’s aging water infrastructure cannot remain, ‘Out of sight,
out of mind,’” said Johnson. “Thanks to the efforts of partners like
Erie Water Works, EPA continues to provide Americans with clean, safe
The Erie Water Works has spent more than $1.6 million to upgrade the
pump station that was originally built in 1927. It was financed with a
$1.6 million low-interest loan issued by Pennsylvania through grant
funds provided by EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program.
The loan program is managed by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure
Investment Authority (PENNVEST) in conjunction with the Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection.
Congress established the program in 1996 to help finance infrastructure
improvements. EPA awards grants to states, which, in turn, provide
low-cost loans and other assistance to eligible water systems.
The existing pumps at the Sigsbee pump station were last upgraded in the
1950’s and were inadequate to serve the current and future needs of an
expanding service area. The facility supplies most of the finished
water to reservoirs and tanks which serve the City of Erie and outlying
Improvements included installing a new pump and upgrading two other
pumps and their associated piping, valves and other equipment.
Renovations were also made to the electrical, ventilation and mechanical
systems. The authority also installed a backup power supply and an
improved security system. The project benefits include improved
reliability, enhanced security and energy savings.
This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.