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Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant in Pennsylvania

June 21, 2022 – July 31, 2022

What does this program do?

This program helps qualified nonprofits and tribes create a revolving loan fund to increase access to clean, reliable water and septic systems for households in eligible rural areas.

Who may apply for these grants?

Nonprofits that have:

  • Expertise and experience promoting the safe, productive use of individually-owned household water wells systems
  • Legal authority to act as a lender
  • Sufficient expertise and experience in lending activities
  • Financial, technical and managerial capacity to comply with relevant federal and state laws and regulations

How may grant funds be used?

Grant funds may be used to help a nonprofit create a revolving loan fund for eligible individuals who own and occupy a home in an eligible rural area. The fund may be used to construct, refurbish, or service individually-owned household water well and septic systems. Terms for the loans include one percent fixed interest rate, 20-year maximum term, and an $15,000 maximum loan per household.

What is an eligible area?

Are matching funds required for the grant?

Yes. The nonprofit must contribute at least 10 percent.

  • Matching funds may be from the non-profit applicant or a third party.
  • Matching funds may not be in-kind.

Note: Homeowners seeking a loan should contact RD for details on nonprofits participating in this program.

Are there any Environmental requirements associated with this grant?

RUS will notify a successful applicant by an award letter accompanied by a grant agreement and multi-tier action environmental compliance agreement.  The grant agreement will contain the terms and conditions for the grant; the multi-tier action environmental compliance agreement will detail the Recipient’s responsibilities in meeting the Agency’s Environmental Policies and Procedures, 7 CFR part 1970, in particular §1970.55 which applies to multi-tier actions or relending actions.  The multi-tier action environmental compliance agreement acknowledges that further “tiered” environmental review may be required and coordinated by the Recipient prior to approving Subrecipient applications for re-lending purposes.  The applicant must execute and return the agreements, accompanied by any additional items required by the award letter or grant agreement.

How do we get started?

Who can answer questions?

What governs this program?

  • Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR 1776
  • Section 306E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

This program helps communities improve access to safe, reliable drinking water for households and improve the sanitary conditions caused by inadequate septic systems in rural areas.


NOTE: Please select your state in the dropdown menu above to find the state office contact information for this program and speak to a program specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you time in completing your application. Please also refer to the application materials listed below.

FY 2022 Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program Application Guide | PDF

National Architect Requirements:

There are no other architect, engineering or environmental requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above. 

There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.

Water and Environmental Programs (WEP)

General Program Inquiries
Pennsylvania State Office
(717) 237-2188
Vacant, Water and Environmental Program Director (717) 237-2281

Pennsylvania State Office
Barb Lukens, Water and Environmental Program Specialist (717) 237-2294
Amber Albright, Water and Environmental Program Specialist (717) 237-2295

WEP Engineering/Environmental Assistance
John Brady, Civil Engineer, State Office (717) 237-2290

Vacant, Civil Engineer, Butler Office (724) 482-5294

WEP Program Specialists in Area Offices
Linda Thomas, Area Specialist, Crawford Area Office (814) 547-5941
Sean McElroy, Area Specialist, Lebanon Area Office (717) 376-3499
Todd Colley, Area Specialist, Butler Area Office (724) 482-5290
Mathew McKnight, Area Specialist, Butler Area Office (724) 482-5285
Kim Wehr, Area Specialist, Butler Area Office  (724) 482-5286
Jason Cali, Area Specialist, (570) 836-5111, ext. 123
Jenni Velez, Area Specialist, Cumberland Area Office (717) 601-3245
Alyssa Rung, Area Specialist, Lycoming Area Office (570) 433-5084

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