USDA Invests $23 Million in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in Illinois

Chris Hart
Release Date
May 28, 2020

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Douglas Wilson announced that the department is investing $23 million in 7 projects in Illinois to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

"These projects reflect how Rural Development can assist communities and rural residents in achieving safe and plentiful water supplies," Wilson said. With historically low-interest rates, these communities and coops are making long term investments for the customers they serve, which will pay dividends for years to come. Rural Development stands ready to help communities across the state with our water and environmental programs."

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. 

Below are examples of water and wastewater projects in rural Illinois communities that will receive funding: 

  • Arenzville Water Co-op. Will use a $954,000 loan and $305,500 grant to construct 20 miles of water main for Arenzville Rural Water Cooperative. This project will serve 42 new users in Cass County, Ill. The waterline will include gate and air release valves, and an emergency interconnect; these system improvements will meet standards and eliminate health and sanitary concerns. 


  •  The City of Pana. will use a $1.2 million loan to renovate the City of Pana's existing water treatment plant, construction of a new intake structure, and spillway replacement. Renovations to the plant include repairing the exterior and repainting the ClariCone, securing the entire area by installing a perimeter fence, and renovate the chemical room elevator. The project will alleviate health and sanitary issues.


  • The City of Vandalia. will use a $14 million loan and a $4.1 million grant to construct a water treatment plant to replace the outdated facility. System improvements also include upgrades to water intakes and pumps and 10,000 feet of water line; this will alleviate health and sanitary concerns. This project will serve approximately 5,515 people located within the service area of Fayette County.


  • EJ Water Cooperative Incorporated. Will use a $131,000 loan to construct water-main and appurtenances to provide water to serve 55 new connections. Additional loops and extensions are also part of the project, which will ensure the facility can maintain and serve its existing users. This project will alleviate health and sanitary issues for the new users, as they will no longer be reliant on contaminated private wells in portions of Cumberland and Montgomery County. These additional Rural Development funds are needed to complete the project. 


  • McLeansboro City. Will use a $200,000 loan to construct a water tower for the City. This project also includes electrical and supervisory control and data acquisition. The current water tower is not large enough to provide the average daily flow required for the users on the system. This project will satisfy a health hazard and deficiency noted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for additional finished water storage. This project will benefit the entire population of approximately 2,883, located in Hamilton County.


  • North Morgan Water Corp. will use a $1.5 million loan and $394,800 grant to install 38 miles of new water line for the Willow Creek Phase of the North Morgan Water Cooperative. This phase will construct a new water line with nine main extensions. Approximately 182 residents will be served by this project, which includes portions of Morgan and Cass counties. This expansion will provide safe, potable water to rural users within the co-op's service area.


  • Village of Dover. Will use a $120,000 loan and $546,000 grant for water system improvements for Dover's community. The existing water system has reached its useful life and needs to make repairs to ensure safe potable water. Improvements include new insulation and wall and ceiling coverings, new heating and ventilating equipment, new individual pressure filter tanks, and piping. A new retention tank, high service pumps, backwash discharge point refurbished, and new wells. These improvements will alleviate health and sanitary concerns. This project is in Bureau County, IL, and will serve 168 users in the community.


For application or eligibility information, view the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development's state or field offices.

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 in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a crucial recommendation of the task force.

To view the Report in its entirety, please see the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). Also, to view the categories of the recommendations, please see 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

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