MONTGOMERY – The Trump Administration announced on Monday, Aug. 3, that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $462 million to modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across rural America.
“I am pleased to see Alabama rural water systems receive Water and Environmental Program (WEP) funding to upgrade and repair infrastructure. These types of investments are vital in delivering safe and adequate water supplies to our rural communities,” USDA Rural Development State Director for Alabama Chris Beeker said. “Rural Development stands ready to help rural communities across the state by providing financial assistance, because when rural America prospers, all of America prospers.”
The USDA is funding four Alabama projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program with investments in Alabama including:
>> The town of Bear Creek located in Marion County will use a $1,227,000 loan and a $828,000 grant to make much-needed upgrades and repairs to the water system. The existing system is experiencing a high volume of water loss due to the age and condition of the water system. The upgrades will include replacing all water service lines, a new tower pump, and adding new valves and equipment. The upgraded system will allow the water to be properly accounted for and provide the rural community with clean potable water.
>> The city of Clio will use a $792,000 loan and a $466,000 grant to make upgrades and repairs to the water system located in Barbour County. The repairs will include updating three existing steel water elevated storage tanks components by adding overflows, vents, ladders, and other safety features, and cleaning and repainting the interior and exterior of the tanks with a protective coating. These much-needed repairs will prevent any further corrosion and expand the lifespan of the existing water tanks in this rural community.
>> In Houston County the town of Columbia will use a $256,000 loan to make essential improvements to the existing water system. Currently, all the water meters are still manually read and beyond their useful life. There are also issues with some of the meters that fail to provide accurate readings and detect water loss. The project will replace all the old meters with new radio-read meters that will allow one person to obtain the readings, a two-day task, in one day. Improvements will also be made to the water lines supplying the local high school. The new upgraded lines and meters will be a great addition to this disaster-stricken area and allow for a more efficient water system.
>> The Lemoyne Water System, Inc., will use a $2,473,000 loan to make necessary upgrades and improvements to the existing water system located in Mobile County. These improvements include replacing one of three wells, adding a generator to one of the existing wells, adding new hydrants at the end of lines, and will include the extension of water mains to make water service available to unserved households in the area. The Board also desires to replace the existing customer metering system with an AMI "smart metering system" and add a SCADA system to more efficiently operate the water system using the two system operators. These much-needed repairs and upgrades will provide a more efficient water operation.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office.
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 www.rd.usda.gov.
If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit their GovDelivery subscriber page.
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