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Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program in New York


What does this program do?

This program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.

Who may apply?

This program assists qualified applicants who are not otherwise able to obtain commercial credit on reasonable terms. Eligible applicants include:

What is an eligible area?

Areas that may be served include:

What kinds of funding are available?

  • Long-term, low-interest loans
  • If funds are available, a grant may be combined with a loan if necessary to keep user costs reasonable.

How may the funds be used?

Funds may be used to finance the acquisition, construction or improvement of:

  • Drinking water sourcing, treatment, storage and distribution
  • Sewer collection, transmission, treatment and disposal
  • Solid waste collection, disposal and closure
  • Storm water collection, transmission and disposal

In some cases, funding may also be available for related activities such as:

  • Legal and engineering fees
  • Land acquisition, water and land rights, permits and equipment
  • Start-up operations and maintenance
  • Interest incurred during construction
  • Purchase of facilities to improve service or prevent loss of service
  • Other costs determined to be necessary for completion of the project
  • See 7 CFR Part 1780.7 and 1780.9 for a complete list

What is the loan term and rate?

  • Up to 40-year payback period, based on the useful life of the facilities financed
  • Fixed interest rates, based on the need for the project and the median household income of the area to be served

Contact us for details and current interest rates applicable for your project

Are there additional requirements?

  • Borrowers must have the legal authority to construct, operate and maintain the proposed services or facilities.
  • All facilities receiving federal financing must be used for a public purpose.
  • Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private and nonprofit entities that offer financial assistance are encouraged.
  • Projects must be financially sustainable.

How do we get started?

Visit RD Apply

  • Applications are accepted year round and may be filed electronically using RD Apply. The RD Apply Customer Help Guide is provided to help you get started and work through the application process
  • Applications are also accepted through your local RD office.
  • Program resources are available online (i.e., forms, guidance, certifications, etc.).

Who can answer questions?

  • Contact the local representative who serves your area
  • Participating nonprofits in your area may also offer assistance and training

What governs this program?

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

This program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses. Good practices can save tax dollars, improve the natural environment, and help manufacturers and businesses to locate or expand operations.

NOTE: Program details may change over time. Before you begin an application, please confirm you have the most current information by contacting a program specialist in your local RD office for assistance or consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Governs this Program?"

NOTE: Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the state office contact information, and speak to a program specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you time in completing your application.

Interest Rates

Current interest rates for 3rd quarter FY 2024, effective July 1, 2024.  

Poverty:  2.375%
Intermediate:  3.250%
Market:  4.000%

National Architect Requirements:

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

State Engineering Requirements:


Engineering and Construction Documents

Providing quality water service and safe, efficient waste disposal for rural areas requires thoughtful application of technology. New York has two staff engineers that interface with applicants, their consulting engineers, and other agencies. In the interest of developing the best possible projects, RD staff engineers are responsible for reviewing project documents and concurring in the technical aspects of water and waste disposal projects funded under the Water and Environmental Program. Our staff engineers maintain a working partnership with the consulting engineers. Consulting engineers often make first contact with applicants and provide basic information about RD programs. This partnership has resulted in many successful water and waste projects. The purpose of our web pages is to provide current, useful engineering information to applicants, consulting engineers, and other interested parties.

The use of EJCDC engineering and construction documents as described and supplemented by RUS Bulletin 1780-26 is required for water and waste disposal projects. EJCDC documents are proprietary documents of the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) and are held in copyright by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). EJCDC documents may be purchased from one of the four EJCDC sponsoring organizations: the NSPE, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).


Selecting an Engineer

The owner's selection of an engineer is one of the first steps to a successful infrastructure improvement project. As part of an application for funding from Rural Development, the applicant must select an engineer using the process described in RD Regulation 7 CFR 1780.39(b), which is based on the requirements of the Qualifications Based Selection Process (QBS).

This process involves public announcement (typically this involves a Request for Qualifications - RFQ) of all requirements for engineering services. Negotiation of contracts must be on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications for the type of professional services required at a fair and reasonable price.

See the information below for additional guidance:

Certification Regarding Debarment, Form AD 1048

Engineering Agreement Amendment Guidelines

Engineering Agreement Amendment Cover Sheet


The Preliminary Engineering Report (PER)

A PER is the basic engineering document in an application for funding from Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal program. The PER describes the need for a project, presents an analysis of alternatives to the proposed project, including a life cycle present worth cost analysis of any feasible alternatives, a description of the proposed project, a detailed construction cost estimate, a total project cost estimate, and an annual operating budget.

This document is submitted along with a complete application to the Rural Development Processing Office for review. Note that the PER and Environmental Report should be submitted at the same time. The Processing Office sends the PER to the State Engineer for a full review prior to consideration for funding.

Short Lived Assets Guide


The following link will provide RUS Bulletins needed to complete the Preliminary Engineering Report:


• Bulletin1780-26, Guidance for the Use of Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) Documents on Water and Waste Disposal Projects with RUS Financial Assistance

• Bulletin 1780-2, Preliminary Engineering Report


The following guides are provided to assist you with the preparation of the contract and construction documents:

Contract Documents Guidelines

Contract Document Checklist

Certification for Contracts, Grants & Loans, RD Inst. 1940-Q, Exhibit A

Certification Regarding Debarment, Form AD 1048

Compliance Statement, Form RD 400-6

Guide A, Statement of Contractor’s Qualifications

Davis Bacon Requirements

Seismic Certification

Sample Project Sign

Construction Closeout Checklist


Consulting Engineers Training June 2014

Engineers Training Overview June 2014

Engineers Training PER June 2014

Engineers Training Underwriting June 2014

Engineers Training Engineering Agmts June 2014

Engineers Training Contract Documents June 2014

Engineers Training Construction Process June 2014


For specific engineering related questions, please contact either of our State Engineers in New York:

Marcy Newman, P.E., State Engineer
21168 NYS Route 232, Watertown, NY 13601
Phone: (315) 221-5876 | Fax: (855) 889-1635

John Helgren, P.E, State Engineer
441 S. Salina St., Suite 357, Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 477-6427 | Fax: (855) 477-8536

National Engineering Requirements:

Key WEP Engineering Resource Page


Individual states will have particular requirements based on state and local regulations. Please contact the local RD office in the state where your project is located.

State Environmental Requirements:


Environmental Information



Welcome to the environmental section of the Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) website. This website contains reference material that will assist applicants or borrowers, project engineers and fiscal advisors meet the agency's environmental review and compliance requirements. Each Rural Development State Office has a State Environmental Coordinator (SEC) who provides oversight and direction for implementing the state's environmental review requirements.

For all project proposals that propose construction activities, the agency normally requires applicants to prepare Environmental Reports concurrently with their Preliminary Engineering Reports or other planning/design documents.

New York Rural Development requires three (3) copies of the Environmental Report. Please use this “Environmental Report Guide for Water and Waste Projects” to prepare the report.


For specific questions related to the environmental reports required in New York, please contact:

John Helgren, P.E, State Environmental Coordinator
441 S. Salina St., Suite 357, Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 477-6427 | Fax: (855) 477-8536

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

Water & Environmental Program Staff


Brenda Smith, Program Director
441 South Salina Street - Syracuse, New York 13202
Phone (315) 477 - 6465


Howard Kunz, CP Specialist
2530 State Route 40, Greenwich, NY 12834
Phone: (518) 692-9940 x119 | Fax: (855) 889-1631


John Helgren, P.E, State Engineer
441 S. Salina St., Suite 357, Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 477-6427 | Fax: (855) 477-8536

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