WICHITA, Kansas. — The City of Wichita was recently selected to apply for financing through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and receive a loan of up to $181.1 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The financing will support new biological nutrient removal (BNR) treatment processes and improvements across the city’s wastewater reclamation infrastructure system. BNR improves the treatment and reclamation process by removing nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus that are harmful to the environment in elevated levels. This BNR project will support nearly 20% of the Kansas population that relies on the City to provide clean water services.
The WIFIA loan allows Wichita to take advantage of low interest rates and payment deferral for five years after substantial completion of the project. The City can use WIFIA financing to implement critical wastewater infrastructure projects while managing rate impacts to the community. Burns & McDonnell partnered with HDR and local Wichita partners PEC and MKEC to successfully deliver the selected Letter of Interest (LOI), as well as the preliminary technical solutions and process design required by the WIFIA selection process.
In support of the WIFIA selection process, the Burns & McDonnell team worked closely with Wichita staff to develop technically advanced solutions focused on regulatory compliance, operational efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effective solutions. Commitment to budget and schedule aspects of the project were essential to the delivery of the successful LOI with the finalized design solutions coming within cost criteria previously defined in the City’s master plan and rate projections.
“We are so proud to have delivered another successful WIFIA application for the City of Wichita,” says Brian Meier, managing associate and leader of the Burns & McDonnell office in Wichita. “The BNR project is part of the City’s integrated water and wastewater master plan and will improve regional water quality and provide reliable water reclamation services for area residents for generations to come. By defining a solution that keeps the City within its budget and rate expectations, our Burns & McDonnell team has delivered another win to the ratepayers of Wichita.”
Burns & McDonnell is also working with the City on its $500 million progressive design-build project, the Northwest Wichita Water Facility, which will provide drinking water to 550,000 residents in Wichita and surrounding communities. This critical project was awarded a WIFIA loan in 2020 and is currently ahead of schedule and below the project budget.
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