Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Projects Manual


The sponsored project must improve water quality in the watershed in which the wastewater utility is located.  Funding is achieved by the wastewater utility borrowing from the Clean Water SRF for an infrastructure project + a nonpoint source watershed project.  The overall interest rate is reduced, allowing the utility to finance two projects for the cost of one.

The dollar amount available for sponsored projects is not finalized until several milestones are met, so applicants should design for scaleable or modular projects or plan to add local funds if the sponsored project budget is not adequate.

Click here for important information on how the sponsored project dollar amount is determined as the wastewater loan and sponsored project progress.

For more information, contact Lee Wagner, 515-725-0992; lee.wagner@dnr.iowa.gov.

Application Process

Sponsored project applications are accepted twice each year, in September and March.  Click here for the current application packet.  A pre-application conference call is required.  Applicants will be notified of their status and the recommended projects will be listed on the Intended Use Plan for public review and comment and approval by the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission.

Project Initiation

Each project will be covered by a team that includes: The wastewater utility, any qualified entity involved, the utility’s engineering consultant, a DNR project manager, the Iowa Finance Authority, a technical advisor from IDALS, other project partners, and other funders.

The DNR project manager will schedule a project initiation meeting with all the parties involved in the project.  The participants will discuss technical requirements and standards for the project, including schedules, SRF requirements, any permitting requirements (e.g. flood plain, stormwater, NPDES), the necessity and creation of Iowa Code chapter 28E agreements, and any other project issues.  The DNR project manager will also provide a Project Milestone Checklist which the project participants should use to track tasks and progress.

Click here for a project initiation meeting packet (including a sample agenda).

Click here for the Iowa Stormwater Management Manual.

Technical Review 

Technical assistance, review, and oversight will be provided to each applicant through the DNR project managers and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship technical advisors. Project managers and technical advisors will:

  • Review conceptual plans;
  • Conduct site visits;
  • Consult with applicants on design issues;
  • Review plans and specifications for compliance with design standards;
  • Determine eligibility;
  • Approve bidding documents;
  • Approve change orders; and
  • Conduct interim and final inspections.
Plans and specs must be submitted to DNR before bidding and must include required SRF front-end specifications. Click here for instructions on the SRF front-ends.

Project Maintenance

Water quality practices funded through sponsored projects must be maintained for the life of the practice. Sponsored Project recipients will be required to develop and execute a maintenance plan for all practices funded through sponsored projects. 
Bidding and Construction
SRF front-end specifications must be included in the plans and specifications. SRF recommends simply inserting the Required Sponsored Project SRF Front-End Specifications  for ease of review by the DNR project manager.  The packet includes several forms that must be filled out by the bidders and returned with the bids. Applicants should pay close attention to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise requirements and forms.
When the applicant identifies the lowest responsive bidder, a packet of bid documents must be submitted to SRF staff for review of eligible costs and concurrence with the bid award. The packet materials are identified in the Bid Checklist for Applicants. The DNR project manager will review the bid documents for eligibility and compliance with federal requirements.

Construction Financing 

Please contact Tracy Scebold, 515-725-4922, tracy.scebold@iowa.gov to determine the final amount available for the sponsored project.
After bids are approved, the wastewater utility must submit or amend its SRF loan application to include the sponsored project costs, and agree to a Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Project Performance Agreement to ensure that the water quality practices being funded are constructed and maintained in a manner that will achieve, and continue to provide, the water quality improvement according to the approved design. The applicant works with bond counsel to schedule and hold a public hearing and pass a bond resolution. IFA will provide a debt service schedule.
All SRF loan proceeds are disbursed after the borrower incurs costs. Disbursements are made weekly.  Sponsored project costs and invoices must be submitted separately from the wastewater project and clearly labeled.