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Ten USDA Rural Development Investments Rebuilding and Improving Water Infrastructure Across Rural Iowa

Darin Leach
Des Moines
Release Date

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.2 billion (PDF, 509 KB) to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 936,000 rural Americans living in 46 states.

Ten of the projects are assisting more than 52,000 rural Iowa residents across the state. These 10 projects are receiving a total of $59,178,000 in loan and grant funding from USDA Rural Development.

“Access to water is a key driver for economic opportunity and quality of life in rural communities,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building prosperity through modern water infrastructure.”

USDA is providing financing for 234 water and environmental infrastructure projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funding can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

“Robust, state-of-the-art water infrastructure provides a firm foundation for economic development and prosperity in rural communities,” said Grant Menke, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “By partnering with rural communities and embracing innovation, USDA is committed to ensuring rural Iowans have the infrastructure needed to thrive.”

Eligible communities and water districts can apply online on the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

Information about projects in Iowa includes:

  • Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (Creston, Iowa – Union County) is receiving a $22,220,000 loan to help develop a water treatment plant. This project will allow the association to transition to owning its own water source and treatment facility. This will result in improved water service for approximately 33,500 rural customers in the association’s 12-county service area in southern Iowa.

  • City of Anita (Cass County) is receiving a $2,920,000 loan and a $335,000 grant to rehabilitate the city’s wastewater treatment system.  The treatment plant is not in compliance with federal standards. A submerged attached growth reactor treatment system and an ultraviolet disinfection treatment system will be constructed. Three-phase power will be extended to the lagoon system, and the lift station will be upgraded.

  • City of Marathon (Buena Vista County) is receiving a $605,000 loan and $1,712,000 grant to rehabilitate its wastewater collection system. The existing system for this community of 234 residents does not meet regulatory standards and has experienced rising operation and maintenance costs, as well as equipment failures. Additional funding includes a $430,000 USDA Rural Development loan and a $1,216,000 USDA Rural Development grant in May 2018 to construct Phase I of this project, a three-cell lagoon.

  • City of Livermore (Humboldt County) is receiving a $160,000 loan to complete recommended structural tower repairs to bring the city’s water tower up to American Water Works Association and Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. Additional funding for this project includes a $960,000 USDA Rural Development loan and an $840,000 USDA Rural Development grant.

  • City of Pisgah (Harrison County) is receiving a $583,000 loan to help update its wastewater system. A cured-in-place pipe liner will be installed, and the community's lift station and control panel will be rehabilitated. These improvements will help reduce out-of-season discharges from the controlled discharge lagoon by reducing inflow and infiltration. Additional funding for the project includes a $26,000 USDA pre-development grant and a $9,450 applicant contribution.

  • Logansport Water System (Boone County) is receiving an $840,000 loan and a $576,000 grant to update its aging water distribution system. New water mains, meter pits and curb stops will be installed. This project will improve water service to approximately 202 residents in the Logansport subdivision, located in an unincorporated area of Boone County.

  • City of Lewis (Cass County) is receiving a $720,000 loan and $628,000 grant to update its water treatment plant, install new water meters and replace approximately 3,500 feet of water mains. This project will help the city update its aging, deteriorating water infrastructure and allowing the city, population 433, to better provide safe and potable water to its business and residential users. Additional funding for the project includes a $20,000 USDA Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) grant.

  • City of Adair (Adair and Guthrie Counties) is receiving a $2,000,000 loan and a $1,320,000 grant to help replace its water treatment plant with a reverse osmosis system. The project will serve 781 residents and will meet all environmental regulations pertaining to the water system.

  • City of Adel (Dallas County) is receiving a $10,880,000 loan and a $4,655,000 grant to improve and expand the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The project is needed to meet minimum discharge levels required by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Adel has a population of 3,682. 

  • Iowa Lakes Regional Water (Spencer, Iowa – Clay County) is receiving a $5,428,000 loan and $3,596,000 grant to develop the Osgood well field and construct a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. The project will provide a with safe and high-quality water supply, as well as allow for an increased supply of water for future population growth in northwest Iowa. Approximately 11,600 people will benefit from this new well and water treatment plant, with many more positively impacted in the future.

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

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help 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 health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.

Contact USDA Rural Development

Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/ia or by calling (515) 284-4663.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas.  Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly