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USDA Invests in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 46 States

Philip Eggman
Release Date

Eight Projects Totaling $25.9 Million Slated for Washington State

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.2 billion to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 936,000 rural Americans living in 46 states.

“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.     

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.

Below are some examples of the investments USDA is making in Washington State::

• Benton County - The Plymouth Water District will receive over $600,000 to help cover the costs drilling and equipping of a new well. Plymouth is an unincorporated community in Benton County. The funding will help to mitigate the nitrate issues the water district is currently facing. The Plymouth Water District serves 86 domestic customers.

• Grant County - City of Soap Lake $5.45 million in loan and grant to make critical repairs and updates the sewer lines within the city, bringing the existing lines up to current standards, benefiting the city's 1,750 residents. Soap Lake will also receive over $3.1 million to help replace water lines to ensure city residents have a safe, reliable and adequate water supply.

• Klickitat County - The City of Bingen will receive $952,500 to help fund the construction of a new glass fused steel reservoir to increase water storage capacity to approximately equal to the that of the existing old reservoir of 250,000 gallons, benefiting the city's population of 712.

• Okanogan County - The City of Okanogan will receive  $622,000 to replace old pipes with the purpose of having safe, reliable and adequate water resources for its 2,561 customers.

• Pacific County - The City of Ilwaco will receive over $1 million help cover the cost of repair of a 500,000-gallon steel reservoir and to replace an existing aged water main as the distribution lines benefiting 936 rural residents.

• Pend Oreille County - City of Newport will receive $1.75 million to cover additional costs to treat water with manganese, replace old pipes and build storage capacity all with the purpose of having safe, reliable and adequate water resources for the community's 2,118 residents.

• Yakima County - The City of Toppenish will receive $12.5 million to fund the replacement and rehabilitation of the city's waste collection system, helping preserve the area's groundwater quality for the city's 8,973 residents.

"Having safe and affordable water and modern, reliable infrastructure is key for rural communities to thrive," said Kirk Pearson, Washinton State Director. "We will continue to be a strong partner to rural communities because we are committed to the future of rural communities."

In addition to Washington State, 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, 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 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.