Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett recently announced that USDA is investing $392 million to help rebuild and improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure in 42 states.

USDA is supporting investments in 120 infrastructure projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents. In many cases, states, other federal partners and nonprofits are working with USDA to also provide funding for these projects.

The bill also directs Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.

USDA is making investments in rural communities in: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Hazlett announced the awards in Fort Worth, Texas, during the Water Pro Conference hosted by the National Rural Water Association. Below are some examples of the types of investments USDA is making to improve infrastructure in rural communities:


The town of Wiggins will use a $6,030,000 loan and $1,970,000 grant to upgrade the town’s water capacity, treatment and storage capability. Wiggins will install a 500,000 gallon elevated storage tank, extend distribution lines, construct a new water treatment plant and add booster pumps to better serve 800 residents.


The city of Blairsburg, in Hamilton County, will be using a $990,000 Rural Development loan and $560,000 Rural Development grant to dig a well, construct a treatment plant, install water meters and provide a standby power system. A 90-year-old treatment plant that will be replaced, improving service to the community of 215.

The city of Fairfield, in Jefferson County, will be using a $11,124,000 Rural Development loan to replace part of the wastewater collection system. This project is step two of a multi-phase project, which will correct sewer overflow issues in the city due to conveyance bottlenecks and inflow and infiltration issues in the current system. Approximately 9,500 residents and businesses will benefit from these improvements.

Eastern Iowa Regional Utility Service System will be using a $435,000 Rural Development loan and a $100,000 Rural Development grant to provide wastewater collection and treatment using a grinder pump system for 25 additional users in the unincorporated area of Leisure Lake located in Jackson County.

Southwest Regional Water District will be using a $2,048,000 Rural Development loan and a $500,000 Rural Development grant to dig two water wells, provide treatment and a transmission line improving water access in southwest Iowa.

Wapello Rural Water Association, Inc. will be using a $3,150,000 Rural Development loan to lay 14 miles of water main and construct a pump station to serve almost 6,000 rural residents in the Wapello Rural Water Association service area in Wapello and Davis counties.


Riley County received a $319,000 loan and $250,000 grant to construct a new sewer system for households in the Fairmont Heights Sewer District. Upon completion, individual septic systems will be retired, and sewage will be piped to the local treatment facility. The project will improve ground water quality for a population of more than 5,400.


The city of Clarksdale is receiving a $226,000 loan and a $539,000 grant to replace water lines, meter equipment, install 10 hydrants and improve water tower equipment, ultimately improving service for more than 270 users. The city also received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant through Missouri’s Department of Economic Development for this project.


The city of Ainsworth will use a $1.27 million loan and $453,000 grant to reconstruct sewage lift stations and provide backup power to lift stations by installing generators. New radio read meters will be installed. Also, pipe linings will be upgraded, providing better service to more than 880 users.

The village of Alexandria will use a $332,000 loan and a $357,000 grant to add an additional well to the water system and increase the size of water distribution main lines. The improvements will add both safety and efficiency to the water system for the village’s 76 residents. The project was funded after completion of a report paid for with a $30,000 Rural Development Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households Grant.

The village of Wauneta will use a $1.48 million loan and a $1.55 million grant to construct two wells with well houses to provide safe drinking water to 356 users. These new wells will replace two older wells. A 50,000-gallon ground storage tank will be constructed and a emergency backup generator will also be installed. Radio read meters will replace the existing meters.

The village of Western will use a $1.03 million loan and a $463,000 grant to replace a sewage treatment facility with a land application lagoon system. Additional funding includes a $24,000 Rural Development Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households grant awarded in FY 2016.


The Clayton Public Works Authority will receive a $1,582,000 loan to upgrade the town of Clayton’s current water distribution system. These improvements will reduce the amount of water loss and address the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s requirements. This project will benefit the town of Clayton, which has a population of 821.

The Leedey Public Works Authority will receive a $607,000 loan and a $496,000 grant to install about 13,000 feet of water lines to stop water loss and improve water pressure for a community of 435.

Okfuskee County Rural Water District No. 2 will receive a $1,538,000 loan to replace approximately 5 miles of deteriorating waterline that has been in service for more than 90 years. The project will reduce water loss and improve water pressure for about 1,000 customers.

Sequoyah County Water Association will receive a $7,330,000 loan and a $1,820,000 grant to replace approximately 10 miles of undersized water line, improving water pressure and reducing the need to purchase water from other sources. Service will be improved to 5,872 residential users, 70 commercial users and three wholesale customers. Additional funding includes $879,000 from Indian Health Service.

The Stonewall Public Works Authority will receive a $1,877,000 loan and a $562,000 grant for water distribution system improvements, replacement of water wells, and replacement of a water storage tank. The Chickasaw Nation has agreed to invest an additional $425,000, along with Indian Health Services to invest $500,000. Service will be improved for 470 customers.

South Dakota

In Oral, the Fall River Water Users District is receiving a $506,000 loan and a $401,000 grant to dig a new well. The District has two wells, one of which is not producing the quantity of water that was expected. Constructing a new well, west of Fairburn, will supplement the system and provide an adequate supply of water to better serve its 1,015 customers.

The town of Frederick will use a $1,420,000 loan and a $1,294,000 grant to finance improvements to the sewage collection system. Outdated collection lines will be replaced, improvements will be made at the sewage lagoon and new controls will be installed at a lift station to better serve the 126 users of the system.

The town of Hitchcock will use a $728,000 loan and a $391,300 grant to rehabilitate the sewer collection system. Manholes will be repaired and replaced, and new cleanouts will be installed along the main sewer line. A standby generator will be installed, two sewage lagoons will be repaired and relined, and storm sewer manholes will be installed, benefitting about 90 residents.


Brookesmith Special Utility District will use a $3 million loan and a $2.4 million grant to finance water line improvements, including line relocation and meter installation. The upgrade will improve service to almost 4,000 residents.

The city of Bracketville will use a $3.1 million loan and a $411,000 grant to help finance improvements to the city’s water distribution and wastewater systems. Water system improvements include the installation of about 23 miles of lines, the construction of a new water plant with an elevated storage tank, and the installation of a new booster pump. The city’s wastewater system will also be rehabilitated, including the addition of a new pond and irrigation system, the replacement of the existing lift station and an emergency generator. Improved utility services will be provided to a population of 5,318. Additional funding includes a $2 million Water and Waste Disposal grant for colonias.

EMC WSC will use a $1.9 million loan and a $1.5 million grant to construct water lines to add 21 new customers to the system. A ground storage tank, booster plants and pressure tank will be installed.

M.E.N. Water Supply Corporation will use a $2 million loan and a $1.4 million grant to help finance improvements to the water distribution system. The improvements include adding approximately 23 miles of lines, and a new water plant with an elevated storage tank, replacing two ground storage tanks, pressure tanks, and boost pumps at the existing plant sites. These improvements will serve a population of 5,318.


The town of Green River will be provided a $300,000 loan and a $1,350,000 grant for cost overrun funds for repairs and rehabilitation to the supply lines for the Jamestown-Rio Vista connection project. The District’s water treatment plant has reached the end of its useful life. Funding collaboration for this project includes a Wyoming Water Development Commission grant for $4,288,000 and fiscal year 2016 USDA Rural Development Direct loan of $1,951,000, applicant contribution of $136,000, and connection tap fees of $25,000. More than 200 customers are being assisted with this project.

The town of Fort Laramie will receive an $87,000 grant and $223,000 in loan funds to improve the water distribution system and purchase related equipment. The project will improve service to 146 households and five other businesses and local government facilities. Additional funding includes a $96,669 Wyoming Business Council grant, and a $90,000 State Lands and Investment Board grant.

The town of Fort Laramie will receive a $165,000 grant and a $489,000 loan in added funds to repair failing sewer lines and improve sewage lagoons. An estimated 133 households will benefit. Additional funding includes a $210,000 State Land and Investment Board grant and a $225,560 Wyoming Business Council grant.

The town of Greybull will receive a $934,000 grant and an $565,000 loan to upgrade the sanitary sewer system by replacing clay tile sanitary sewer mains, manholes and upgrade sewer lines. This is the first of three phases to upgrade the sewer system for the 1,847 residents of the town.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.