USDA is investing $256 million in 81 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas in 35 states through USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
The funds can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
- The Tri County Regional Water Distribution District, in Russellville, Ark., is receiving a $6.2 million USDA loan to construct a water treatment plant with new intake and water lines. The new plant will better serve customers during high demand and will help avoid unhealthy conditions. Tri County supplies water to Pope, Logan and Yell counties.
- The town of Ravenden, Ark., is receiving $859,000 to construct a water supply well. The new well will correct system deficiencies to comply with health and sanitary regulatory standards for the 246 users.
- $1.4 million for the city of Edgerton, Minn., population 1,189, to connect to the Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water system. Edgerton’s well is more than 40 years old. The Minnesota Department of Health has prohibited the city from using a secondary, older well except for emergencies due to high nitrate levels and because untreated water would be discharged directly into the distribution system. The water from Lincoln Pipestone will be blended with water from Edgerton’s well as a useable backup system.
- $4.8 million for Moore County, N.C., to provide sewer service to the town of Vass. Nearly 40 percent of the town’s residents and businesses use privately-owned septic tanks and drain fields, many of which have exceeded their useful life. The new wastewater collection system will address widespread health and sanitary issues.
- $446,000 for the Leroy Water Authority (Ala.) to improve its water system. Upgrades include replacing smaller water lines with three-inch lines. This will result in increased water pressure and better service to the Authority’s 531 customers. The population of Leroy, Ala., is 911.
“No matter what zip code you live in, infrastructure is a foundation for quality of life and economic opportunity,” said Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett. “Through strong partnerships, USDA is ensuring that rural communities have the modern, reliable infrastructure they need to prosper.”
The recently enacted Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending bill provides $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. It also directs Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.