Verbatim announcement from the Indiana Finance Authority:
INDIANAPOLIS – A $45,612 grant from the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA)’s Arsenic Remediation Grant Program has helped Northern Heights Elementary School in Columbia City provide safer drinking water to its students. The Whitley County school installed an arsenic treatment system to bring its drinking water into compliance with recently-tightened national standards.
Since the school installed the treatment system, tests have shown the water to be well-below the arsenic standard, meaning better water quality for students, faculty and staff.
“The arsenic removal system we installed is working very well. Now that we have removed the arsenic, staff and parents’ concerns have dropped and we are very pleased that we have accomplished this without the financial burden,” said Anthony Zickgraf, Business Manager for Whitley County Consolidated Schools.
Levels in the school’s drinking water had previously tested at 18 parts per billion (ppb) – well below the previous national standard of 50 ppb. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reduced the standard to 10 ppb, creating a financial burden for many smaller systems with limited financial resources. In response, the IFA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Program created the Arsenic Remediation Grant Program in 2006.
“The assistance from the grant was a huge benefit to our school corporation. We were really struggling with where we could find the funds to do this project.” Zickgraf said.
“Governor Daniels is intent on improving the health of Hoosiers,” said Jennifer Alvey, Public Finance Director of the State of Indiana. “The Arsenic Remediation Grant Program enables us to provide financial relief for small systems that are trying to provide the safest drinking water possible to their customers.”
Governor Mitch Daniels created the IFA in 2005 to more effectively manage State-related financial programs such as the SRF Programs under one entity. Since the inception of the Arsenic Remediation Grant Program, SRF has awarded grants to 16 water systems totaling more than $750,000.