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USDA Invests $42.7 Million in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in Wisconsin

Jessica Mancel
Stevens Point
Release Date
Jul 07, 2021

Funding will Improve Infrastructure for 19,000 Rural Wisconsinites

STEVENS POINT, Wis., July 7, 2021U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wisconsin Rural Development Acting State Director Michelle Wallace announced that USDA is investing $307 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 34 states and Puerto Rico.

“Rural Development continues to support our rural Wisconsin communities with their water and wastewater infrastructure improvements so they can support their economic development needs,” Wallace said. “USDA is investing in our small towns and cities that need it most – to help them build back better and stronger than ever before.”

The City of Kiel will use a $23.9 million loan to repair and replace aging infrastructure in the wastewater plant and to increase the capacity of the existing facility to meet future growth needs for almost 3,800 users. The original wastewater treatment facility was constructed in 1979 and has had numerous modifications and upgrades in response to changing flows, loadings, permit requirements and the aging of facilities and equipment. The plant will be upgraded to meet the increased capacity and effluent phosphorus discharge limits. The upgraded facility will be designed to meet the needs of Kiel for many years to come.

The Village of Edgar will use a $4.8 million loan and a $1.5 million grant to improve the wastewater treatment facility (WWTF). The existing WWTF, originally constructed in the 1930's and upgraded in 1968, needs improvements to keep the system running efficiently and within requirements. This project includes improvements that will recondition several of the treatment processes, replace a major portion of the electrical system and will include the conversion of the blower/generator room to a lab/office. These improvements will allow the WWTF to remove phosphorus both chemically and biologically to be able to achieve the phosphorus waste load allocation imposed by the Wisconsin River TMDL (total maximum daily load). This project will benefit almost 1,400 users.

The Village of Wilton will use a $1.6 million loan and a $2.8 million grant to upgrade the WWTF. This project includes upgrading the WWTF to address equipment, lagoon and process deficiencies to meet current and future permit requirements. The existing WWTF system was constructed in 1980 and has historically struggled to meet current discharge limits. The existing lagoons have several items needing to be brought into compliance with WI Department of Natural Resource requirements. Most processes and equipment are original to the plant construction and are reaching the end of their useful life and need replacement or upgrading. This project will benefit 500 users.

The Village of Bruce will use a $78,000 grant to upgrade the water system and wells for almost 800 users. Well #1 (constructed in 1933 and reconstructed in 1984) and Well #3 (constructed in 1982) are both subject to a growth of natural biofilm with acid producing bacteria. This change in the water chemistry increases the solubility of manganese and thus the manganese levels of the well water poses a very dangerous risk to the village residents and leaves the water undrinkable. The upgrade and rehabilitation will help reduce corrosion of the pump and well casing in each well and corrosion of lead pipe and copper plumbing in the water distribution system, thus being able to control acceptable manganese levels in drinking water to the residents. The Village will also be receiving funding from the WI Department of Natural Resources for additional sewer and water improvements. 

The Village of Ontario will use a $414,000 loan and $465,000 grant to expand the infrastructure to new development areas that are resilient to natural disaster and will provide support for a sustainable community for almost 600 users. The village has experienced reoccurring flooding that has caused significant damage to the infrastructure and the community and is proposing to implement a flood mitigation project to avoid the negative impact caused by future floods. This project will include the construction of new water and sewer mains to serve a new commercial and residential area located outside of the floodplain for businesses, single family homes and multi-family apartments. This project was funded as a result of a USDA financed SEARCH grant in 2019.

The Village of Viola will use a $1.3 million loan and a $972,000 grant to relocate infrastructure in a portion of the community that is in a floodplain for almost 700 users. The Kickapoo River flooded the village six times between 2007 and 2019 which resulted in water pumps failing and sewer mains creating backups in residences and businesses located in the floodplain. After this project is completed, the village will no longer service areas in the designated floodplain area. The funding will include new water distribution lines to provide clean, safe and reliable water in the resettlement areas, including a new well. The sewer improvements will prevent sewer backups related to flooding incidents and allow for the relocating of residential and commercial development out of the floodplain into proposed resettlement sites. This project was funded as a result of a USDA financed SEARCH grant in 2020 with an additional $1 million being provided through the Community Development Block Grant Program.

The City of Waupun will use a $5 million loan to provide additional financing for upgrades to the wastewater treatment facility funded in 2018 and will serve more than 11,000 users. The improvements to the facility will add a phosphorus removal system by utilizing a new technology that includes advanced treatment with a chemical addition or advanced biological nutrient removal (ABNR). The ABNR system is an algae-based system capable of recovering phosphorus and nitrogen into harvested algae biomass. This addition will assist the city in achieving compliance with its phosphorus limits in the Rock River Basin area.

USDA is financing the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. This 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.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact our Wisconsin USDA Rural Development office at 715-345-7600 or wi-rd-stateoffice@usda.gov and visit our website www.rd.usda.gov/wi. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page


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