Grants and Funding for Clean Water

Aging and failing water infrastructure is increasingly putting the safety, reliability and affordability of our water at risk. Infrastructure failures such as water main breaks, sink holes, sewer collapses and pump failures are all too common a regular occurrence in many communities. Emergency repairs are expensive and disruptive. Permitted Combined sewer overlfows contribute billions of gallons of raw sewage entering our water bodies every year. Wastewater treatment plants struggle to keep up with demand, implementing the latest technologies, and reaming cost-effective. Water and sewer fee hikes, a regressive tax, are mostly felt by poor or those on a fixed income.  The advocacy organization Environmental Advocates estimates that to fix our crumbling drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, it was estimated in 2008 that New York must invest close to $80 billion over the next 20 years.  While the needs outpace the funding by a wide margin, thankfully there are grant and loan programs available by the Federal Government and New York that communities may tap into in effort to address the capital backlog and protect water quality.

Funding Source

Eligible Applicants

Priority Actions

Engineering Planning Grant Municipalities, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts; for land acquisition, not-for-profit corporations are also eligible The NYSDEC and NYSEFC created this grant program for municipalities to help pay for the initial planning of eligible Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) water quality projects.  The goal of the program is to advance water quality projects to construction so successful applicants can use the engineering report funded by the grant to seek financing through the CWSRF program or other funding entities to further
Water Quality Improvement Project Program Municipalities, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts; for land acquisition, not-for-profit corporations are also eligible Projects to reduce polluted runoff from diverse non-agricultural sources, green infrastructure, nutrient treatment upgrades at wastewater plants, projects to limit internal recycling of nutrients within a lake, and land acquisition to buffer drinking water sources.
Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant Municipalities with median household income equal to or less than $65,000 according to the United States Census 2015 American Community Survey or equal to or less than $85,000 for Long Island, NYC and Mid-Hudson REDC regions Smaller grants to support initial engineering reports and plans for wastewater treatment repairs and upgrades that are necessary for municipalities to successfully submit a complete application for grants and low interest financing.
Clean Water Infrastructure Act (CWIA) Septic Program Funds county- sponsored and administered household septic repair grants. Repair and replace existing, yet failing, household septic systems in hot-spot areas of priority watersheds via grants channeled through participating counties.
CWIA Inter-Municipal Grant Program Municipalities, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts Wastewater treatment plant construction, retrofit outdated stormwater management facilities, install municipal sanitary sewer infrastructure.
Water Infrastructure Improvement Act Grants Municipalities Grants for capital projects to upgrade or repair wastewater treatments plants and to abate combined sewer overflows, including projects to install heightened nutrient treatment systems.
Integrated Solutions Construction Grant Program Municipalities, state agencies, private entities, soil and water conservation districts Municipalities, state agencies, private entities, soil and water conservation districtsUp to $8 million in grant for projects that incorporate green infrastructure to encourage and support green infrastructure alternatives and solutions. Successful applicants will construct projects that remove stormwater from combined, sanitary, or storm sewers.  Awarded projects will receive 50% of the construction cost of eligible green stormwater practices. ISC grant funding is available only in conjunction with CWSRF financing.
Green Innovation Grant Program Municipalities, state agencies, private entities, soil and water conservation districts Grants for projects to install transformative green stormwater infrastructure.
Principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), other metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000, and qualified urban counties with populations of at least 200,000 (excluding the population of entitled cities) The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. Eligible activities include Construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and energy conservation projects.

The Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program is the loan guarantee provision of the CDBG Program and provides communities with a source of financing for economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities, and large-scale physical development projects.


For communities looking to finance projects there’s the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. This borrowing provides interest-free or low-interest rate financing for wastewater and water quality improvement projects to municipalities throughout New York State. A variety of point source, non-point source, and national estuary projects are eligible for financing, including construction or restoration of sewers and wastewater treatment facilities, stormwater management, landfill closures, as well as habitat restoration and protection projects. Eligible applicants include municipalities, including any county, city, town, village, district corporation, county or town improvement district, school district, Indian nation or tribe recognized by the State or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, any water authority now existing in a city, or any agency of New York State which is empowered to construct and operate an eligible project.

There are two sides to the program: Drinking Water and Clean Water

For information about the Clean Water (CWSRF) program visit:

For information about the Drinking Water (DWSRF) program visit: