Department of Development releases guidelines for new round of water infrastructure grants

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 13, 2023

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Development today announced details for a new round of funding available to assist communities with improving access to clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

The guidelines for the upcoming round of the Ohio BUILDS (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success) Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program include project requirements, eligibility, and the timeline for awards.

This new round of the Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program will provide grants over the course of the biennium to provide safe, reliable drinking water in areas that lack infrastructure, bring sewage treatment capacity to unsewered areas, and develop regional infrastructure to serve multiple communities.

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“Since launching this program in 2021, we’ve provided nearly $500 million to support hundreds of local water projects in all of Ohio’s 88 counties, and we are dedicated to continuing this important work to support more communities that are in need of improved water infrastructure,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

“With every dollar we’ve awarded through this program, we’ve provided thousands of Ohioans with the clean water they deserve and created countless opportunities for our communities to grow stronger and more resilient,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development. “Thanks to the support of Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted, as well as the dedication of our state legislature, we’re so pleased to be able to continue this important work.”

The DeWine-Husted Administration launched the Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program in 2021 as a continuation of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, which launched in 2019 to focus on ensuring plentiful, clean, and safe water for communities across the state.

The first three rounds of the program, awarded in October 2021, November 2021, and December 2021, were funded with $250 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) appropriated by the 134th Ohio General Assembly. Both the fourth and fifth rounds of this award were funded through an additional $250 million in ARPA dollars appropriated by the legislature through House Bill 45. Governor DeWine signed the bill in January 2023.

This new round of funding was made possible through continued support in the 2023 biennium budget bill, House Bill 33. The Department of Development administers the program.

The Department of Development will begin accepting grant applications on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. Applications will close at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024.

As required by House Bill 33, water and wastewater construction projects are eligible for up to $5 million in grant funding. Examples of water infrastructure construction projects include, but are not limited to:

Sewer/wastewater treatment plant improvements/expansion

New/replacement sanitary sewer lines

Excess sanitary sewer infiltration/inflow correction

Improvements to public drinking water treatment facilities

Drinking water line improvements or extensions

Repair, replacement, and construction of drinking water storage towers

All political subdivisions with the authority to own and operate public water and sewer systems and non-profit, non-community public water systems may apply for funding. Political subdivision means a county, township, municipal corporation, or other body corporate and politic responsible for governmental activities in a geographic area smaller than that of the state.

In addition to water infrastructure upgrades, Ohio BUILDS strategically invests in a broad range of projects to improve quality of life and support economic growth, such as broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings, and more.

The Department of Development will begin accepting grant applications on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. Applications will close at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024.

Development staff will host a webinar at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, to present the guidelines in detail and allow interested parties to ask questions.

Program information and full guidelines can be found on the program webpage.

The Ohio Department of Development empowers communities to succeed by investing in Ohio’s people, places, and businesses. Learn more about our work at