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USDA Partners with Local Communities to Improve Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure for 14 Small Water Systems in Louisiana

Karen Lawson
Release Date

USDA Rural Development Louisiana State Director Dr. Carrie Castille today announced $66 million in investments to help rebuild and improve 14 water infrastructure systems in rural Louisiana communities.

“Modern infrastructure investments and access to safe drinking water and waste disposal systems are vital to creating economic prosperity for our small rural communities,” Castille said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is partnering with local officials and businesses to make critical investments to help strengthen rural communities.”  

Below are investments USDA is making in Louisiana:

  • The Ascension Parish Consolidated Utility District is receiving a $9.6 million loan and $7.8 million grant to rehabilitate the water distribution system to reduce water loss and improve water quality to 18,359 citizens.

  • The Town of Haughton will receive a $6.8 million loan and $2.9 million grant to increase water capacity at the Bullard and Buc Stop lift stations to meet current and future demands. Force mains and a chlorine contact chamber will be installed along with renovations to the wastewater treatment plant that serves 3,454 customers in Bossier.

  • The Consolidated Water Works District #13 of Feliciana will use a $5.8 million loan and $1.9 million grant to upgrade their water system to meet current industry standards. The entire system will be modernized for efficiency to serve 10,043 users.

  • The Town of Coushatta received a $4.1 million loan and $2.8 million grant to drill two water wells and replace a 50-year-old water storage tank and service lines for the town’s population of 2,139 residents.

  • The Town of Gibsland will use a $2.5 loan and $1.9 million grant to install a clarifier, refurbish the existing aeration system and install new water mains where needed. 13,100 linear feet of pipe will also be installed for access to safe clean drinking water for the town of 979 residents.

  • The Town of Melville will use a $1.1 million loan and $3.2 million grant to upgrade its water system. Melville will drill one groundwater well, rehabilitate two wells, and replace selected distribution water mains and install a drive-by radio-read system. Other funding includes a $30,000 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households grant.

  • The Belah-Fellowship Water System Inc., will receive a $4.1 million loan to refurbish a water treatment storage and distribution system in La Salle Parish to serve 1500 people.

  • The East Columbia Water District will receive a $3.28 million loan and $501,000 grant to construct two ground water wells, a treatment plant, booster station, 200,000-gallon ground storage tank, two miles of water mains, and replace the existing water meters with a drive-by radio-read meter system in Caldwell and Ouachita.

  • The Black River Water, in Winn Parish, will receive a $3.7 million loan to install a groundwater well and rehabilitate three wells and water storage tanks.

  • The Hudson Gaars Mill Water System received a $976,000 loan and $826,000 grant to produce its own water sourced from the Sparta Aquifer to save money to treat its own water at a lower cost. Other funding includes a $30,000 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households grants.

  • The Village of Hodge received a $1.5 million loan and $543,000 grant to restore the sewer collection system that includes replacing lines, moving unsafe lines, and adding gravity sewer mains and manholes in existing rights-of way for customers in Jackson Parish.

  • The Village of North Hodge will use a $141,000 loan and $114,000 grant to install flow meters, repair check valves, recoat the storage tank and replace the electrical control panel for a safe system that serve 388 people.

  • The Randolph Water System will use a $142,000 loan and $8,000 grant to correct issues with disinfection by installing a by-product removal system at the well site. This also includes installing a spray aerator, meter system, and upgrading the billing software for 120 customers.

  • The West Grant Water Association will use a $337,000 loan to complete the construction of two wells and a 125,000-gallon elevated storage tank, renovating pump stations, and replacing water mains that serves 3,159 people in Grant Parish.

Nationwide, USDA is awarding $1.2 billion in loans and grants for 234 projects to rebuild or improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure. More than 936,000 rural residents in 46 states will benefit from these investments. The funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the loan and grant agreements.

Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Program financing can be used for drinking water, storm water drainage, and waste disposal systems for rural communities with a population of 10,000 or less. Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or build water and wastewater systems. They can visit the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of  Louisiana Rural Development’s state or field offices. Applications are accepted year-round.

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.