related to

Guide Get Funding

The Clean Water SRF Program helps municipalities comply with federal and state water quality requirements by focusing on watershed management priorities, stormwater management, and green infrastructure. The Drinking Water Program provides loans to communities to improve water supply infrastructure and drinking water safety.

Table of Contents

First Steps

The first step to getting funds for your clean water project, drinking water project or septic system project is to apply to MassDEP to be on the Clean Water or Drinking Water Intended Use Plan List which is released once a year. MassDEP determines what elements of a project are eligible.

Each June, MassDEP's Division of Municipal Services (DMS) launches a solicitation of proposals for SRF financial assistance for the next calendar year. The applications, called Project Evaluation Forms, along with supporting documentation, are due by the August deadline noted in the solicitation. The information provided in the PEF allows the Division to rate and rank projects based upon the severity of the problem being addressed and the appropriateness of the solution described. Some local governments submit the PEFs themselves, but most applicants engage environmental consulting companies that are familiar with the condition of the local infrastructure and with the SRF financing process.

During each funding round, an online application form will be available for use.

The proposals selected to receive SRF financing are published in the fall on the Draft Intended Use Plan IUP. The IUP lists proponents, project name and cost, for the selected projects. Following a 30-day public comment period, the IUP is finalized, typically with some additional projects added. As dictated by Congress, only projects listed on an IUP may receive SRF financing.

To learn more about the entire process click here.

To learn more about the Interim Loan program click here.

Potential Benefits

Affordability Assistance

The Trust provides subsidies for certain projects in the form of principle forgiveness. Eligibility is determined on an annual basis. For more information about principal forgiveness, click here.

Green Projects

Borrowers that include renewable energy generations as a component of the project are eligible for enhanced subsidy.  Additional subsidy for renewable energy loans is applied to the cost of the energy technology and not the total project.

A number of projects on the IUP typically do not advance to construction, therefore, Green Project participation needs to be calculated after projects are bid and the portions of the project that are considered to be Green can be segregated out.

Nutrient Enrichment

Modern life produces many types of pollutants such as excessive nutrients which affect water quality. Nutrient enrichment can include high phosphorus, high nitrogen and macrophytes; the impact can be seen with the presence of algae blooms, duckweed, fish mortality and loss of habitat.  Projects primarily intended to remediate or prevent nutrient enrichment of a surface water body or a source of water supply may be eligible for a 0% interest loan. Additional criteria may be viewed here.

Incentivized Lead Service Line Replacement Program

Communities that appear on the 2019 Drinking Water Intended Use Plan (IUP) for water main replacement or lead service line (LSL) related projects can replace private portions of LSLs at no additional cost to the community and at no cost to the homeowner. This program works by increasing the principal amount of the loan while reducing the interest rate to keep the total cost of the loan the same. Additional information can be found here.

Additional Resources for Potential Benefits