Merski: $38 million in funding secured for Erie City Water Authority projects

Will fund replacement of outdated service connections, other work

ERIE, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Robert Merski, D-Erie announced that the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority has approved funding totaling $38 million – including $14 million in nonrepayable funding and $24 million in low-interest loans – to allow the Erie Water Authority to perform major projects including replacement of corroded, outdated lead piping for customers and construction of a new pumping station.

“Erie County has seen substantial investments and a massive overhaul of its infrastructure over the last several years,” Merski said. “These improvements directly impact the quality of life for our residents and are a result of community leaders working in unison to deliver tangible results that will be felt for generations.

“Good government initiatives are rooted in keeping more money in people’s pockets. Without this loan, user rates for those within the service area would have increased by a staggering 74%. That would have been unacceptable, and I am thrilled we were able to work toward a solution to ensure residents receive the high-quality water service they deserve.”

The $18 million in funding for replacement of service connections includes approximately $14 million that does not need to be repaid, plus approximately $4 million in repayable loan funding. The funding will support replacement of nearly 2,500 service connections consisting of iron pipe attached to water mains by lead goosenecks, which connect the water main and shut-off valve. After completion, nearly all the deteriorated lead goosenecks in the city of Erie will be removed from service.

A second low-interest loan of $20 million will allow the water authority to address needed renovations to the Asbury Tank Pump Station in Millcreek Township, including construction of a new facility with three 1,750 gallons-per-minute vertical turbine pumps, associated pipe and infrastructure additions and an emergency generator to facilitate a total daily capacity of five million gallons.

The Erie Water Authority services nearly 32,000 households within the City of Erie, along with providing additional service to surrounding municipalities, including Wesleyville and McKean boroughs, and Greene, Harborcreek, McKean, Lawrence, Millcreek, and Summit townships. Additionally, bulk service is provided to the Summit Township Water Authority and Fairview Township Water Authority. 

Pennvest specializes in funding sewer, storm water, and drinking water projects across Pennsylvania. Pennvest’s low cost financial assistance helps make the water that is consumed every day by thousands of Pennsylvanians safe to drink.