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USDA Invests $7.6 Million in Rural Oregon Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

Erin McDuff
Release Date

Two rural Oregon towns will improve their drinking water and wastewater infrastructure with the help of $7.6 million in loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announced Oregon State Director John Huffman today. Funding for these projects is being provided through USDA's Water and Waste Disposal Program.

"These investments will improve the reliability and capacity of utility services for rural residents and businesses, which is essential for public health and safety, as well as for economic vitality," said Huffman. "We are committed to improving infrastructure in rural communities because when rural Oregon thrives, all of Oregon thrives."

The town of Cascade Locks will upgrade its wastewater treatment system with help from a $3.2 million loan and a $1 million grant from USDA. The current system serving this rural community was built in 1968 and has reached the end of its service life. Improvements will be made to the headworks, sequencing batch reactor, UV light disinfection system, sludge management, and pH adjustments. Additionally, piping and manholes with structural damage will be repaired. The upgrades will improve the system's capacity and significantly reduce the volume of sludge that must be hauled to Hood River's wastewater treatment plant for processing. These improvements will also enable Cascade Locks to meet new discharge standards. Additional funding is being provided by Business Oregon. Overall, this $5.5 million municipal wastewater project will ensure this rural town of 1,144 people has energy-efficient, reliable utility services that meet its needs while protecting water quality in the nearby Columbia River.

The town of Amity is receiving a $1.6 million loan and a $1.8 million grant from USDA to help upgrade its municipal drinking water infrastructure. The community's current system needs updates in order to keep pace with increasing demand. Amity will make improvements to the water treatment intake system and install larger pumps to increase the system's capacity. Additional funding is being provided by a Community Development Block Grant. Overall, this $5.6 million project will ensure this rural community of 1,670 people has reliable access to clean drinking water for years to come.

Nationwide, USDA is investing $635 million in 122 projects to build or upgrade rural water and waste disposal infrastructure in rural communities in 42 states. The funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the loan and grant agreements.

Rural Development's Water and Waste Disposal Program financing can be used for drinking water, storm water drainage, and waste disposal systems in rural communities with a population of 10,000 or less. Most state and local government entities, nonprofits, and federally-recognized tribes are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted year-round, and local staff members are available to discuss potential projects.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety, and healthcare facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/or.