Western Lake Superior Sanitary District will receive $7.1 million in water infrastructure loans for three different projects.

The loans from the Minnesota Clean Water Revolving Fund will be repaid over a 15-year period at a 1% interest rate.

Karen Anderson, director of community relations at WLSSD, said the low interest rate through state loans compared to market-rate financing allows WLSSD to keep its debt down and manage more capital projects.

The loans will fund two improvements at the wastewater treatment plant, Anderson said.

That includes the replacement of one of five screw pumps at the beginning of the plant. Screw pumps lift large amounts of wastewater to a higher point so the gravity can be used to transfer dirty water throughout the plant.

WLSSD also plans to do a complete mechanical rebuild of one of its secondary clarifiers, which are responsible for helping separate the solids from the waste water.

The rest of the $7.1 million will pay for the rehabilitation of interceptors and pipes in 2020 in Lakeside.

"We do a lot of work to understand the conditions of all our pump stations and all of our pipes," Anderson said. "We understand what places will need to be repaired before a failure were to happen."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides grants to states through Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan programs. States are then responsible for how they operate the program.

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority announced the five recipients of loans and grants for water infrastructure projects on Wednesday.

“There can be no economic growth without the infrastructure to support it,” said Steve Grove, commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development in a press release. “The work the PFA does is vital to Minnesota’s economy.”