Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $307 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 34 states and Puerto Rico.
“Every community needs safe, reliable and modern water and wastewater systems,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The consequences of decades of disinvestment in physical infrastructure have fallen most heavily on communities of color. This is why USDA is investing in water infrastructure in rural and Tribal communities that need it most to help them build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before.”
According to a USDA press release:
USDA is financing the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to help eliminate outdated pipes and service lines to safeguard public health and safety in rural communities. They will help improve rural infrastructure for 250,000 residents and businesses.
“Our team in Maryland worked hard to make sure we could fund these projects so that our rural communities have access to modern water systems,” said Scott Kessel, acting state director for USDA – Rural Development Delaware/Maryland. “We are proud of the fact that we were able to help fund nearly $2.5 million dollars that will help create the infrastructure needed for these systems and the families and communities that will benefit from them.”
As part of today’s announcement:
- The town of Grantsville is receiving $575,000 in grants and an additional loan for $202,000 to improve the sewer systems. These improvements include addressing infiltration, inflow, and spikes in flow that correspond with rain events. Funding also includes the completion of a full infiltration/inflow study consisting of flow monitoring, detailed manhole inspections, manhole inspections, manhole monitoring during rain events, smoke testing and closed-circuit television.
- The town of Sudlersville is receiving a grant for $513,000 which will be used to complete the construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The investment will close out construction of the facility that provides sanitary sewer collection and conveyance to users in the Town of Sudlersville and additional users from the Town of Barclay upon completion of the Barclay Collection and Conveyance Project.
- Pocomoke City, located in rural Worcester County, is receiving a loan for approximately $1 million which will be used to rehabilitate four obsolete pump stations. The upgrades will consist of converting the four underground pump station structures into wet wells and installing submersible pumps, rails, valves, and controls. The proposed project will benefit the residents of Pocomoke City by ensuring continuous sanitary sewer system function. In addition, the upgrades would help to facilitate reasonable and planned economic growth in the area, while also helping to protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage. The program serves households and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less.
To learn more about these and other resources for rural areas, contact a USDA Rural Development state office.