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$7.9 Million for Water And Wastewater Infrastructure Upgrades Announced

By Staff | Jul 14, 2021

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $307 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 34 states and Puerto Rico. In Maine, three municipalities will receive a total of $7,984,000 to improve rural community infrastructure.

The investments being announced today follow President Biden’s announcement last week of a Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that will make the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history. The Framework will replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines, helping address barriers faced by communities of color, Tribal communities, and rural America.

“Every community needs safe, reliable and modern water and wastewater systems,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The consequences of decades of disinvestment in physical infrastructure have fallen most heavily on communities of color. This is why USDA is investing in water infrastructure in rural and Tribal communities that need it most to help them build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before.”

USDA Rural Development Acting West Virginia State Director Alan L. Harris said, “USDA Rural Development proudly supports rural community investments, such as these important efforts to expand potable water service and improve existing water distribution infrastructure.”

USDA Rural Development is announcing a total investment of $7,984,000 in rural West Virginia:

The Tyler County Public Service District will receive a Water & Waste Direct Loan in the amount of $2,019,000 and Water and Waste Grant of $965,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to enable the Public Service District to provide both public drinking water and fire protection by extending its water distribution south from Boreman Elementary along Route 18 to Centerville and Alma. The source of the water will be the Davenport Well Field along the Ohio River, which has ample capacity to supply the service area. The Public Service District will construct a new booster station at the end of the existing system. A new storage tank will be constructed to serve this area with drinking water and fire protection. The service area is currently plagued by dry private wells from a poor aquifer that creates water shortages during dry times. There are currently no fire hydrants in the project area.

The Lavalette Public Service District will receive a Water & Waste Direct Loan in the amount of $2,000,000 and Water & Waste Grant in the amount of $1,000,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to replace undersized and outdated lines in the German Ridge and Dickson areas of the Northern Distribution System. These lines will be replaced with 8-inch diameter lines that will provide fire flow while reducing water loss and operation and maintenance costs associated with leak repairs. The project will include installation of supervisory control and data acquisition additions, automatic flushing equipment, tank cleaning, installation of tank mixers, and pressure relief valve upgrades.

Cowen Public Service District will receive a Water & Waste Direct Loan in the amount of $500,000 and Water & Waste Grant in the amount of $1,500,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to extend a sewer system to the Upper Glade area. The Upper Glade area is currently served by inadequate private sewage treatment systems or no system at all that has resulted in raw sewage being discharged into an unknown tributary of the Gauley River. With this project, a maximum of 161 septic systems can be eliminated and provided more consistent, centralized treatment for wastewater. The project will also extend service lines to the Camp Caesar area which will allow the wastewater from the camp to be routed to the main plant for treatment and eliminate the existing treatment pond at the camp.

USDA is financing the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to help eliminate outdated pipes and service lines to safeguard public health and safety in rural communities. They will help improve rural infrastructure for 250,000 residents and businesses.