U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for Rural Development John Rounsaville today announced that the department is investing $635 million in 122 projects to improve water systems and wastewater handling services in rural communities in 42 states, with nearly $20 million being invested in Mississippi. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
“These investments in our rural communities and rural water services assist in bringing reliable infrastructure, which is key to improving public health and safety,” Rounsaville said.
Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities that meet population limits.
- NTS Utilities Association in Meridian, Mississippi received a loan of $4,258,000. This will be used to upgrade a 200 gallon-per-minute well, provide the well with an emergency power generator, and replace approximately 150 non-functioning water meters. This system serves a population of 1,915 and all customers will benefit from this project as a whole, as it will serve to reduce power consumption and water loss on a daily basis, as well as remedy power losses during outages.
- Foxworth Water and Sewerage Association in Foxworth, Mississippi received loan and grant funding totaling $259,000, which will be used to replace the existing household water meters with new automatic radio-read meters and associated software. The meter replacement project will enhance the association's efficiency and organizational capabilities, taking less time to record the meter readings, resulting in net savings of man hours, and fuel savings of a truck operating for the same hours each month. Replacing the existing meters will also reduce water loss and help account for every drop of water the customers use, which will in turn increase revenue. All of the 862 citizens served by this water system will benefit from this project.
- East Oktibbeha Wastewater District received loan and grant funding totaling $5,368,000, which will be used to expand the existing wastewater collection and treatment system to serve 377 additional households. Access to sewer service is very much needed to eliminate individual household septic systems that cannot properly operate in the soils in this area. Additionally, access to sewer service will allow for additional development of single-family housing units, and commercial businesses. This project will benefit 4,116 people once construction is completed.
- Sunnyhill Water Association in McComb, Mississippi received loan and grant funding totaling $950,000, which will be used to assist the association in providing upgrades and enhancements that include the following: abandoning the 48 year-old, non-producing water well and constructing a new 500 GPM water well, installing a new 150 kw generator for the new well, replacing existing 6-inch or 8-inch water line on Oak Street, replacing existing 344 feet of 6-inch water main inside Percy Quin State Park, and adding 144 feet of 4-inch water main to existing 4-inch water main on Muddy Springs Road. These upgrades will greatly reduce water loss and enhance customer service to these communities. The population served by this system is 5,157 and all users will benefit from the project.
- The City of Senatobia received a loan of $8,019,000 which will be used to upgrade the existing collection system and components to help prevent overflow situations and to increase the wastewater treatment facility's capacity. Due to the age of the equipment and increasing hydraulic loading and growth within the city, the equipment is subject to failures and repairs. The project will serve 5,955 city residents.
- Buffalo Water Association, Inc. received a loan of $851,000, which will be used to upgrade a 200 gallon-per-minute well, provide the well with an emergency power generator, and replace approximately 150 non-functioning water meters. This system serves a population of 1,915 and all customers will benefit from this project as a whole, as it will serve to reduce power consumption and water loss on a daily basis, as well as remedy power losses during outages.
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.