EJ Gets Grant, Loan to Expand Gila Water Treatment Plant

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Published on September 24 2012 12:00 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

In the wake of this year’s extreme drought that pushed its Gila Water Treatment Plant past production guidelines to keep up with demand, EJ Water Cooperative is receiving a grant and a loan of almost $5 Million to increase capacity.  Congressman John Shimkus announced the funding, which comes from United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

The cooperative has been approved for a $1,012,000 grant and a $3,983,000 loan by Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.  The money will be used to raise the production capacity of the Gila Water Treatment Plant from 1 million to 1.5 gallons per day and to construct a 1 million gallon ground storage tank.

Shimkus says that the drought forced the plant to run near capacity and in excess of Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, which puts it at risk of facing sanctions.  He added that the funding will help avoid such issues in the future.

In addition to the new grant and the loan, at 2.125 percent interest for 40 years, EJ Water previously obtained a $1,905,300 grant through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery “Ike” program toward the total project cost of $6,900,300.

EJ Water, based In Dieterich, serves more than 6,900 rural residents and businesses.