The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will provide $392m in funding to help rebuild and improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure across 42 states.


Image: USDA to provide loans to improve water and wastewater infrastructure. Photo: Courtesy of Carlos Paes/

As part of the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program, USDA will support 120 infrastructure projects. These projects include drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

USDA Rural Development Secretary’s Assistant Anne Hazlett “Put simply, modern and reliable water infrastructure is foundational to quality of life and economic development. USDA’s partnerships with rural communities underscore Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s commitment to rural people and the places they call home.”

USDA is making investments in rural communities across Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansans, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, and North Carolina.

The investment will also be made 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.

The city of Stuttgart, Arkansas will receive $1m to replace deteriorated water lines in its water system. The project will help the city to have a safe and reliable water supply for over 9,300 of its residents.

The city of Swartz Creek, Michigan will receive $2.9m loan and $2.3m grant to improve its water system. Majority of the distribution system was developed 40-50 years ago with cast-iron pipes.

USDA said: “The water mains are growing increasingly brittle and have experienced numerous breaks in the past five years. With each break, customers receive a boil water notice of varying durations. A majority of the water main has exceeded its life expectancy.”

The project includes replacing nearly 6.4km of water main, hydrants and valves, and making other repairs. It will serve 2,098 residential and 216 commercial customers.

The department has also called upon eligible rural communities and water districts to apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or building water and wastewater systems.