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Sweet Home gets major funding piece for new wastewater plant

Sweet Home waste water
City of Sweet Home
Parts of Sweet Home's current waste water treatment plant are nearly 80 years old

The City of Sweet Home is getting a $30 million low-interest loan from the federal government to help build a new wastewater treatment plant. Part of the city’s current plant dates from the 1940’s, and even the newest section is almost 30 years old.

"Because of its age and capacity, when we get rain events, we have capacity issues," said Greg Springman, Sweet Home's public works director.

Sweet Home spokesperson Lagea Mull said the city’s location makes having clean wastewater especially important.

“We are the first city on the South Santiam, so what gets put back into the river from our system impacts our neighbors downstream," she said.

Construction of the new plant should begin in late summer. The state of Oregon is also providing $7 million for the project. City officials say the federal loan is eligible for potential forgiveness depending on future federal budget appropriations.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”