USDA invests $3.9M in water infrastructure in rural SD communities

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Farm Forum

HURON – On July 16, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities.

“Robust, modern infrastructure is foundational for quality of life and economic opportunity – no matter what zip code you live in,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”

USDA is making investments in 35 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

South Dakota’s four projects are:

• The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe in South Dakota will receive a $116,000 loan to help finance storm sewer infrastructure improvements for a new housing development for the tribal members on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation. The project will create proper drainage for a 37.5-acre site that will consist of 67 lots for new homes that will help address the critical need for housing.

• Aurora-Brule Rural Water System, Inc. in Kimball will use a $1,294,000 loan and a $406,000 grant to help alleviate low pressure and capacity issues, as well as aid in providing additional water resources to meet current demands and future growth. This project has six different elements within Aurora-Brule’s infrastructure. The first element includes the water treatment plant. Funds will be used to replace motors, high-service pumps and variable frequency drives, as well as investing in innovative new pumps, air compressors and air dryers for efficient use of the systems. The second and third elements include the replacement of two booster stations and constructing four miles of new water mainlines. The fourth element includes a one-mile extension of current 14″ water mainline to aid in delivery of water to customers. The fifth and sixth elements include the recoating and cleaning of two water towers in Aurora-Brule’s service area. This project will affect about 3,000 rural users in South Dakota.

• The City of Lake Andes will use a $332,000 loan and a $891,000 grant to refurbish the entire sewage collection system via cast in place pipe, including specialized coatings for the original manholes. The present system is prone to failure during heavy rain events thereby resulting in sewage backups directly impacting homes and businesses. These conditions are further exasperated by the existing brick manholes which compound the infiltration and inflow problem. Lake Andes is faced with an antiquated wastewater collection system on the verge of collapse. The original pipe was installed in the 1920’s and two-thirds of those pipes are still being used. Sanitary sewer service is currently provided to 344 customers to include residential and commercial users. This project will significantly improve Lake Andes existing wastewater collection system, providing safe and reliable service to the residents of Lake Andes. A $838,000 Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal 306C Native American Grant has also been awarded for this project.

• The City of Faith will receive a $829,000 loan and a $116,836 grant to repair the sewer system in Faith. The City’s current sewer system is in poor condition and is in immediate need of repairs and/or replacement. The sewer lines were recently cleaned and televised to inspect the current condition of the lines. It was determined that 68% of the sewer lines are in “fair to poor” condition while 9% of the system is in poor condition or worse. This investment will repair most of the sewer lines with cured-in-place pipe. The project will have a positive effect on the health and sanitation of the surrounding community. This project will serve 236 users (172 residential and 64 commercial).

In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. It also directs Agriculture Secretary Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.

Rural community leaders can apply for these funds electronically by using the interactive RD Apply tool. They can also apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.