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USDA Invests in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in South Carolina

Stephanie Bittiker
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chad Rupe today announced that USDA is investing $135 million in 49 projects to improve rural water infrastructure in 24 states.

  “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,” Rupe said. “Modernizing water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and help spur economic growth – making rural places even more attractive to live and work.”    

   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 in South Carolina:

• Lane, S.C. is receiving a $412,000 loan and a $1,246,800 grant to provide sewer collection lines for the remaining areas of the town of Lane which will feed into the existing county system.  This project will also include gravity and force mains.  In addition, Lane, which is in a Persistent Poverty area, will receive a $593,000 loan and a $286,400 grant to extend water lines to residents.  Currently the residents in the project area obtain their drinking water from shallow on-site wells that pull from the ground water in the area.  Due to the high-water tables and marginal soils, many on-site septic systems malfunction on a regular basis.  When this happens, groundwater may become contaminated and pose a health hazard to its residents.  This project will alleviate potential health hazards, provide fire protection for the residents and assist in preparing for any potential growth in the area.

• The Town of Olanta, S.C. will use a $652,000 loan and a $436,900 grant to replace the sewer system and existing water meters.  This project will eliminate nearly one million gallons a month of excess pumping, which will allow the town to improve its financial situation and reduce the risk of groundwater contamination due to potential leaks in the outdated sewer system.

   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.

   USDA had $2.9 billion available for USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and grants at the beginning of fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.

   View the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices for application or eligibility information.

   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/sc.