Dayton awarded $3.6M grant for water infrastructure improvements

DAYTON — The City of Dayton will receive a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce aimed at improving the city’s water system infrastructure and reliability.

The grant stems from multiple water issues, including two large water main breaks in Dayton that spun into multi-day crises in 2019 and 2020. Money from the grant will be used to purchase new generators to ensure continued service within the water system.

“This project will add redundancy to the Dayton Water Supply System so that a minimum level of service is maintained at all times in the event of power loss from hazard or disaster,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a media release Thursday.

The grant is funded through the commerce department’s Economic Development Administration, which plays a role in disaster recovery and prevention strategies.

“This EDA investment will allow Dayton to address the local and regional need for resilient public water and water treatment facilities by making structural and electrical improvements to increase reliability in the event of future tornadoes and flooding,” EDA spokesperson Dana Gartzke said.

Area politicians echoed praise to the department for providing the funds to help modernize the water system.

“As we saw last year, Dayton’s water supply is dependent on power. Now, with this $3.6 million for new electric generators for our water system, the Miami Valley can be more certain of water accessibility during natural disasters.” Rep. Mike Turner R-Dayton said in the release.

“Building resilient infrastructure is a smart investment for continued service and economic development. We’re appreciative of this federal grant from the EDA that will support businesses in Montgomery and Greene counties," Gov. Mike DeWine said.

A timetable on when the generators will be purchased and installed was not provided.