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USDA helps Improve Water and Wastewater Infrastructure for nearly 250,000 People in 103 Rural Counties

Justin Wilkes
Release Date


   John Rounsaville, State Director for Rural Development in Mississippi, today announced two water and wastewater projects in Mississippi that were funded, following Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett's announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities.

 “Safe drinking water and sanitary waste disposal systems are vital not only to public health, but also to the economic vitality of rural America,” Rounsaville said.  “Rural Development is proud to be a leader in helping improve the quality of life and increasing the economic opportunities for rural Americans nationwide.”

    USDA is making investments in 35 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

Below are some examples of projects Rural Development partnered with organizations on with the goal of improving water infrastructure in Mississippi:

  • The Town of Sunflower (MS-2) received a total of $3,007,000 in loans and grants, which will be used to assist the city in improving failing infrastructure that is needed to alleviate health and sanitary issues. This project will benefit 615 users; 508 residential households and 107 non-residential users. The city will replace and up-size leaking cast iron water mains within the system with PVC water mains. The city is contributing $230,000 in local funds and the Treasure State Endowment Program is contributing $500,000.

  • The Southwest Lauderdale Water Association (MS-3) received a loan of $2,563,000 million, to be used to construct a new (second) 600 GPM well at the Office Water Treatment Plant site as a backup well to the existing 600 GPM well located there. The investment will also expand and upgrade the Office Treatment Plant by constructing a clarifier, pressure filters, aeration, and 50,000 gallon clear well and modify the high service pumps. The project will also replace 32,000 feet of undersized existing water mains to improve water pressure for the existing 3,615 water customers.

   Rural community leaders can apply for these funds electronically by using the interactive RD Apply tool. They can also apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

   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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.