Apr 25, 2012

USDA Invests in Nationwide Water Quality Improvement

A total of 54 water and wastewater projects in 33 states will be funded

As part of USDA's Earth Day celebration, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced support for projects that will improve water and wastewater services and benefit the environment nationwide.

This Earth Day, USDA is commemorating 150 years of working with Americans to protect the land. In years to come, it will help address the changing needs of agriculture and rural America, and find strategies for managing the nation's public and working lands to promote a strong middle class today while preserving the environment for generations to come.

In all, 54 water and wastewater projects in 33 states will be funded.

As part of today's announcement, USDA Rural Development is providing more than $150.8 million to improve water quality and provide a safe and healthy environment for rural Americans. In addition, nearly $22.5 million is being invested for technical assistance training through the Technical Assistance and Solid Waste Management programs.

For example:

In Maine, the city of Old Town received funding for sewer collection system upgrades, which will significantly improve the collection system and reduce infiltration and inflow.

Old Town is a rural community located adjacent to the Penobscot River. The municipal wastewater system serves approximately 1,800 residential, 120 commercial and 15 public facilities. The project will improve water quality in the Penobscot River and provide environmental benefits to this important watershed and surrounding communities.

The city of Arcola, Texas, currently has no public water system, and residents use private wells for drinking water. Fort Bend County has noted that the private wells have poor water quality. In addition, the city cannot provide fire protection to its residents or commercial clients, which make it difficult for properties within the city to get affordable insurance due to lack of fire prevention.

The city of Potterville, Mich., received funding to install a storm sewer system and to address an aging sewer infrastructure. The sewer system dates back to 1967. Through a combination of replacement and rehabilitation investments, the city is addressing significant environmental, sanitation and health concerns.

Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan, grant or loan/grant agreement. A complete list of water and wastewater award recipients is located here.

The original USDA release can be found here.