USDA Invests in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in Alabama
Investments will Benefit 23,900 Residents in Rural Alabama
MONTGOMERY, Aug. 8, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Chris Beeker III today announced that USDA is investing over $10 million in three projects to improve rural water infrastructure in Rural Alabama.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to partner with rural communities to address their current and long-term water needs,” Beeker said. “This is great news for rural Alabama. Modernizing water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and help spur economic growth – making our rural communities even more attractive to live and work. When Rural America Thrives, All of America Thrives.”
USDA is making the investments through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural cities and towns, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below are examples of projects announced today that show how USDA is partnering to improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure.
The Utilities Board of the City of Opp will use a $3,289,000 loan to upgrade the water system. The existing water mains were installed in the mid-1900s using asbestos cement pipe and 3-inch galvanized pipe. Gradual corrosion is causing system failures resulting in increasing repair costs. The diameter is too small to allow for adequate fire flow. This project will replace the asbestos cement and galvanized pipe with PVC designed to adequately provide fire flow with properly locating fire hydrants as needed.
St. Elmo-Irvington Water Authority will use a $3,777,000 loan to upgrade the treatment facility. The system consists of three aging wells, insufficient mains causing low pressure, and a 40-year-old building that is not constructed to meet required design loading code. Adding a new well will stabilize the system and protect the system from outages caused by weather emergencies. A new booster pump station will be constructed and water mains will be upgraded to eliminate the low-pressure issues plaguing much of the area. The office building cannot be repaired up to code. A new office building will be constructed, increasing office space and improving work flow.
New London Water, Sewer, and Fire Protection Authority will use a $3,294,000 loan and a $552,000 grant to construct an additional well and upgrade water lines. Saint Clair County is experiencing an average of 6 percent annual growth especially in area serviced by this water authority. Constructing a new well and improving the lines will allow the water authority to meet the additional demand as population increases.
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.
Congress appropriated $2.9 billion for USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and grants in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
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. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.