USDA invests $281 million in rural water and wastewater improvements

May 29, 2020

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced on May 27 that the department is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico.

The USDA is funding the projects through the Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program.

“These investments will bring modern, reliable water and wastewater infrastructure to rural communities. They will replace deteriorating, leaking water pipes with new ones and upgrade water handling systems that are decades old. These investments create jobs and improve public health and safety for our rural neighbors,” Brand said.

The USDA is funding projects in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns, and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage, and waste disposal systems in rural communities that meet population limits.

Below are just two examples of the water projects that will receive funding.

  • The city of Mabton, Washington, will use a $677,000 loan and a $296,195 grant to drill a new well. The city owns and operates a domestic water system that serves 632 active, metered connections. Groundwater is currently pumped from two wells, delivered to an 800,000-gallon reservoir, treated by chlorination for disinfection, and distributed to customers. The new well will augment water capacity, resulting in improved reliability.
  • In Terlton, Oklahoma, Pawnee County Rural Water District #2 will use a $1.7 million loan and a $597,000 grant to rehabilitate wells and bring the water treatment plant up to Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality standards. These improvements will enable the district to reduce the amount of water it is required to purchase. This will help lower operating expenses and increase the efficiency and sustainability of the system. The district provides water to 2174 rural residents.

For application or eligibility information, view the interactive RDApply tool or contact one of the USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.