Drinking Water Financial Assistance - American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
The Virginia General Assembly allocated the Office of Drinking Water (ODW) $100 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to improve drinking water infrastructure over the next four years. ODW is leading the Drinking Water Infrastructure Initiative to manage the use of these funds.
The Drinking Water Infrastructure Initiative aims to:
- Improve drinking water infrastructure across the state
- Assist small and disadvantaged communities
- Conduct research on consumer confidence reports and having tap water as a trusted drink of choice instead of sugary beverages
For more information on the Drinking Water initiative see the sections below.
The purpose of this webpage is to:
- Show how the funds are being used
- Give grant awardees a place to go to get information about the initiative
- Inform individuals who want to learn more about the initiative
- Give instructions for how to apply for funds
VDH is no longer accepting applications. Download the ARPA application here.
Please send comments, questions, or concerns on projects awarded to date to email@example.com.
ARPA funding is ONLY available to “Small/Disadvantaged” water works. Remember, VDH used the project area that will benefit from the project when determining whether a project qualifies for ARPA funding.
Below are links that can provide additional information:
Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds | U.S. Department of the Treasury
This solicitation ran concurrently with the annual Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) solicitation. Find information about BIL and DWSRF funding and applications at https://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewNotice.cfm?gnid=2367.
The General Assembly requires Drinking Water Infrastructure Initiative funds to: “support equal access to drinking water at small and disadvantaged community waterworks and funds shall not be used for improvements to the department’s internal systems, staffing, or processes.” ODW used the measures below to select 42 projects to receive $84,909,928 of the available funds as of January 31, 2023:
- Small Communities – These communities have a population of less than 10,000 persons. Small communities are historically underserved, marginalized, or include adversely impacted groups.
- Disadvantaged Communities – In these communities the annual water bill exceeds 1% of the median household income (MHI).
- Project Ready – Projects for small and disadvantaged community waterworks that had already been identified and were ready to start
The following table lists the number of projects and funding cap for awards made as of 1/31/2023.
The U.S. Department of Treasury requires projects that promote equitable outcomes and racial equity. The foundation of ODW’s plan, and the processes to spend or obligate the $100 million in ARPA funding, is outlined in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program Manual. ODW used the DWSRF manual and the Department of Treasury’s requirements to identify and prioritize infrastructure projects as follows:
- Small – communities with a service population less than 10,000 persons. Small communities do not usually have the economy of scale to ensure financial sustainability. Small communities are historically underserved, marginalized, or include adversely affected groups.
- Disadvantaged – communities in which the annual water bill exceeds 1% of the median household income on an annual basis.
- Abandoned – waterworks owners who have effectively stopped providing technical, managerial, and financial support for the waterworks. In these cases, ODW will look to consolidate these systems with larger nearby waterworks.
- Acute or Chronic Health Violations – these systems will have notices of violation issued or be under an Order to resolve health violations.
Projects will focus on closing funding gaps and reaching universal levels of service. While ODW is using the DWSRF program manual as a baseline for process and procedures, ODW will waive certain unnecessary “paperwork” requirements associated with ARPA funding where appropriate. ARPA funding has fewer restrictions as compared to DWSRF funding.
Department of Treasury Guidelines
The ARPA final rules can be found at the following Dept. of Treasury link:
Frequently Asked Questions
VDH received a total of $100,000,000 for the Drinking Water Infrastructure Initiative.
- Facilities to improve drinking water quality
- Transmission and distribution:
- Improvements of water pressure
- Prevention of contamination in infrastructure and lead service line replacements
- New sources to replace contaminated drinking water or increase drought resilience, including aquifer storage and recovery system for water storage
- Green infrastructure, including green roofs, rainwater harvesting collection, and permeable pavement
- Storage of drinking water, such as to prevent contaminants or match water demands
- Buying of water systems and interconnection of systems
- New community water systems
- Constructing publicly owned treatment works
- Projects related to implementation of a nonpoint source pollution management program established under the Clean Water Act (CWA)
- Decentralized wastewater treatment systems that treat municipal wastewater or domestic sewage
- Management and treatment of stormwater or subsurface drainage water
- Water conservation, efficiency, or reuse measures
- Development and implementation of a conservation and management plan under the CWA
- Watershed projects meeting the criteria set forth in the CWA
- Energy consumption reduction for publicly owned treatment works
- Reuse or recycling of wastewater, stormwater, or subsurface drainage water
- Security of publicly owned treatment works
- Some stormwater infrastructure, lead remediation, and certain rehabilitations of dams and reservoirs are available for Coronavirus State Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Program (SLFRF) funding
All funds must be spent by 12/31/26, however all awards and contracts must be in place by 12/31/2024. ODW’s goal is to identify and select projects to start as soon as possible to maximize the use of the funds within the allowable time.
If your project was selected, you will receive an email from the Office of Drinking water notifying you of your award and the amount awarded.
The notice of award will include instructions on next steps. If you still have questions after receiving your notice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your project was not selected, please reach out to email@example.com with your concerns.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions not answered on this website.