USDA invests in rural water, wastewater infrastructure in 29 states

Investments will benefit 169,000 rural Americans.

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Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, JUNE 28, 2019 -- Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley has announced that USDA is investing $192 million in 71 projects located across 29 states to improve rural water infrastructure.

“President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue were very clear when they directed Rural Development to identify and meet rural water needs as a foundational pillar in improving rural infrastructure,” Baxley said. “Safe and reliable water infrastructure is critical to the health, safety and economic vitality of rural America. Without access to safe water and functional wastewater treatment, sustainable growth in rural areas is not possible.”

USDA is making the $192 million investment through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grantprogram. Rural communities, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

Below are some examples of these investments:

  • The city of Apalachicola, Fla., population, 2,328, is receiving a $474,000 loan and a $1.2 million grant to improve the central water system treatment facility. The filtration processes will be upgraded to reduce the level of disinfection byproducts in the treated water. The system serves 1,463 customers.
  • The city of Sigourney, Iowa, population 2,059, is receiving a $3.9 million loan to update its wastewater treatment system. The city will purchase a back-up generator, install a new aeration system and construct a submerged, activated growth reactor system. These improvements will enable the system to meet new ammonia limits set by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
  • Mullan, Idaho, population 783, is receiving a $1.2 million loan and a $393,000 grant to upgrade 14,500 feet of mainline sewers and replace or rehabilitate 103 manholes. This project will improve the environment by eliminating bypasses and untreated wastewater. It also will prevent sinkholes and eliminate hazards to which city crews are exposed when they repair deficient manholes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing $1 million in additional funding, along with $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and $30,000 from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

USDA announced investments in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Congress appropriated $2.9 billion for USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and grants in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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