The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $82m to strengthen the rural water and wastewater infrastructure across 40 projects in 20 states.


Image: USDA investing $82m to improve rural water infrastructure across 20 states. Photo: Courtesy of Hillary Gracier/

USDA will be investing through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural communities, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funding to improve drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems.

To be eligible for funding, the projects must be located in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

USDA Rural Development Secretary’s Acting Assistant Joel Baxley said: “These investments will have a far-reaching, positive impact on rural residents, businesses and communities.

“Improving water and wastewater infrastructure enhances quality of life, helps support economic development and ensures that rural areas have safe and abundant water supplies.”

The investments have been announced across the states of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

The department has cited some examples of projects such as the town of Loxley, Alabama, which is receiving $4.8m loan and $4.7m grant to improve its wastewater system and help prevent overflow from the treatment plant into the Corn Branch tributary during heavy rains.

Tthe city of Croswell, Michigan will receive $3.2m loan and a $6.7m grant to install slip lining, replace pipes and make improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. This is the Phase 2 of a project which could bring the city to comply with state environmental guidelines.

Under the funding program, the West Sunbury Borough Municipal Authority, Pennsylvania will be given $256,000 loan and a $369,000 grant to install equipment and filters to upgrade the sewage treatment plant to meet the state requirements. The project will serve the borough of West Sunbury, portions of Clay Township and the Dassa McKinney Elementary School in Concord Township.

In March, the department announced $116m investment in rural water and wastewater infrastructure across 23 states. The grant is expected to benefit nearly 171,000 Americans through 49 projects.