Program 101

Program Fact Sheet

Are applications currently being accepted: YES

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?

Button image for 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?"

Forms & Resources

Learn how to prepare wastewater system planning documents for projects that anticipate joint funding from USDA Rural Development and Business Oregon, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, or Rural Community Assistance Corporation in the Guide to Preparing Wastewater Planning Documents and Environmental Reports for Projects with Multiple Funding Sources (PDF, 1.23 MB), updated July 23, 2018.

Additional resources and funding options for Oregon water and wastewater infrastructure projects are provided in the Rural Community Assistance Corporation's 2016 Oregon Water & Wastewater Funding and Resource Guide* (PDF, 314 KB). 

*This document was developed by a local nonprofit and is being shared by USDA as a public service to our customers. Please note that the guide may not capture all resources and funding opportunities that may be available or relevant to water and wastewater infrastructure projects, and the inclusion of an organization or program does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by USDA over similar options not named.

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.


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.

Preliminary Engineer Report Guidelines for USDA Rural Development Projects, Rural Utilities Service Bulletin 1780-2 (PDF, 343 KB)

Guide to Preparing Wastewater Planning Documents and Environmental Reports for Projects with Multiple Funding Sources (PDF, 1.23 MB), updated July 23, 2018

For further information, please contact the Rural Development Oregon State Engineer Mike Beyer at (503) 414-3368 or


Guide to Preparing Wastewater Planning Documents and Environmental Reports for Projects with Multiple Funding Sources (PDF, 1.23 MB), updated July 23, 2018

For further information, please contact the Rural Development Oregon State Engineer Mike Beyer at (503) 414-3368 or

Interest Rates

Current interest rates for 1st Quarter FY 2020, effective October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019

Poverty:  1.750%
Intermediate:  2.375%
Market:  3.000%


State Office:

Main Phone: (503) 414-3354
Relay Service: Dial 711 for a free relay service operated by the FCC
Fax: (855) 824-6181

USDA Rural Development
Attn: Community Programs
1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 1801
Portland, OR 97204

Charolotte Bentley, Community Programs Director
(503) 414-3362,

Ella Nichols, Community Programs Specialist
(503) 414-3354,

Eric Nerdin, Community Programs Specialist
(503) 414-3326,

Patricia Cousins, Community Programs Specialist
(503) 414-3336,

Chris Laughton, Community Programs Technician
(503) 414-3330, 

Technical Contacts:

Mike Beyer, State Engineer /State Environmental Coordinator
(503) 414-3368,

Norm Schoen, State Architect
(503) 414-3364,

Local Contacts:

Portland Office (Serving Northwest Oregon: Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Hood River, Marion, Multnomah, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill counties):
Patricia Cousins, Community Programs Specialist
(503) 414-3336,

Tangent Office (Serving West Central Oregon: Benton, Crook, Deschutes, Lane, Linn, Lincoln, and Polk counties):
Holly Halligan, Community Programs Specialist

La Grande Office (Serving Eastern Oregon: Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler counties):
LaDonn McElligott, Community Programs Specialist
(541) 647-3087,

Roseburg Office (Serving Southwest Oregon: Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lake counties):
Deanna Quimby, Community Programs Specialist
(541) 378-3547,

Community Programs service area map for Oregon