Projects will Improve Water Infrastructure, Public Health and Environmental Quality for Rural Residents and Businesses
MONTGOMERY, May 27, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today announced that the department is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
“Modernizing rural water systems in Alabama not only improves public health and safety for our rural communities, but it spurs economic growth,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Alabama Chris Beeker.
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. Investments in Alabama include:
- The Centreville Water Works and Sewer Board in Bibb County will use a $1,237,000 loan and a $546,000 grant to improve their sewer system by removing old pumping stations and buildings and replace them with new pumping stations. A portion of funds will be used to make repairs to multiple wet wells, install a new generator and install Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. These much-needed repairs and upgrades will provide a more efficient water operation.
- The Waterworks, Sewer and Gas Board of the City of Childersburg in Talladega County will use a $1,305,000 loan and a $1,030,000 grant to replace all manual read water meters with new automatic read water meters, to purchase a service truck and to construct an office building. The automatic read meters and service truck will allow for more efficient processing and reduce billing errors. The office building will be accessible to individuals with disabilities and be equipped with up to date office management software and equipment
- The City of Henagar in DeKalb County will use a $2,573,000 loan and a $678,000 grant to increase the wastewater treatment plant's capacity and approved technology for the treatment and disposal of the collected sewage. The proposed upgrades have anticipated corresponding growth for the next 10 years; serving existing and anticipated customers. Improvements include upgrades to the plant's headworks to include influent screening to remove grit and non-biodegradable solids that can hinder the treatment process and equipment from achieving the level of treatment required to meet their NPDES permit. Install membrane bioreactor system (MBR), utilizing the existing plant's basin (with modifications). Upgrade the existing effluent pump station to handle the increased flow and upgrade the discharge force main from a 4" to an 8" force main. Install a sludge dewatering system capable of handling a 300,000-gallon-per-day wastewater flow. Install an emergency back-up generator to provide electrical service for continued waste treatment during electrical outages. The project will provide a more efficient wastewater operation for the rural community.
- The Utilities Board of the City of Linden in Marengo County will use a $394,000 loan and a $173,000 grant to improve their wastewater treatment facility. This project will increase treatment quality, provide sustainability, and will allow the treatment facility to be monitored remotely increasing reaction time when problems occur. The Board provides sewer service to approximately 2,123 residents. This is phase two of the project and will address some much-needed health and safety issues.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.