U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

USDA is Seeking Applications to Help Build and Repair Household Water and Septic Systems in Rural Communities

Erin McDuff
Release Date

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for grants from qualified nonprofits and tribes to create loan funds to help rural homeowners finance household water and septic systems.

The Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program does not provide funding directly to individual homeowners. Instead, qualified nonprofits and tribal lending institutions may use the grants to establish revolving loan funds that provide affordable loans to homeowners that need new household water or septic systems.

Applicants must have expertise in lending activities and household water well or septic systems, and they must provide matching funds of 10 percent. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis. 

The loans may be used for the construction or repair of individually-owned household water well systems. Effective this year, USDA has expanded the eligible use of funds to also include building or repairing septic systems. The wells and septic systems installed or repaired with this financing must serve existing homes in a rural area with a population of 50,000 or less.

The revolving loan funds may provide loans of up to $15,000 per household at a one percent fixed interest rate over 20 years. Also new this year, lending institutions can now use the funds to provide grants to homeowners that earn less than 60 percent of the area median income.

These changes are expected to greatly increase the number of households that can participate in the program, providing improved access to safe, clean water and waste disposal throughout rural America.

Applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov by no later than 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time on July 19, 2021.

For additional information, or to discuss a potential application, contact Ella Nichols, Community Programs Specialist, (503) 414-3354.