The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires states to utilize DWSRF funds to address risks to human health, to maintain compliance with the Act, and to assist systems most in need on a per-household basis. Tennessee's Priority Ranking System forms the basis for eligibility determinations and the allocation of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loans through the State Revolving Fund Loan Program (SRF Loan Program). The Priority Ranking System assigns priority points to proposed drinking water projects using a 100-point scale. Only those projects that address serious, acute risks to human health are eligible for the maximum award of 100 points. Other projects will be assigned 20, 40, 60 or 80 points, depending on the severity of the problem and whether a compliance problem exists. A table of the criteria and associated ranking points can be obtained here.
Only those proposed projects identified on the SRF Loan Program's Project Priority List are eligible to receive financial assistance for the planning, design, and construction of drinking water facilities. The process of being placed on the Priority Ranking List starts with the SRF Loan Program issuing a formal solicitation for eligible projects. Potential DWSRF loan applicants or their engineering consultant must respond to the solicitation with a written request to be added to the Priority List. The written request must include detailed descriptions of the scope of the proposed project, how the proposed project will mitigate risk to human health or maintain compliance with the SDWA, and all funding sources and respective funding amounts that are necessary for project completion.