USDA recently announced it is investing $307 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 34 states and Puerto Rico.
USDA is financing the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The investments will help eliminate outdated pipes and service lines to safeguard public health and safety in rural communities. They will improve rural infrastructure for 250,000 residents and businesses.
Minnesota is one of the 34 states receiving funds.
Here are the communities that will get water infrastructure upgrades:
1. Cromwell, $754,000 grant, $600,000 loan. Cromwell will receive improvements to its water, wastewater and sewer infrastructure. Project funds will be used to replace cracked piping, repair 45 manholes, construct a new force main lift station, loop the water system with the distribution system and replace old water meters. These improvements will help address the inflow and infiltration issues and the health and safety of the city's 234 residents.
2. Red Rock Rural Water System, $905,000 loan, $445,000 grant. This investment will be used to build a water treatment plant in Great Bend. It also will build an on-site ground storage reservoir and replace outdated control equipment. These improvements will help provide safe drinking water for nearly 16,000 residents.
3. Russell, $369,000 loan, $552,000 grant. This investment will be used to upgrade Russell’s water, wastewater and sewer infrastructure. The city's existing water tower is more than 80 years old, in poor condition and has lead-based paint on the exterior of the tank. An independent inspection and evaluation of the water tower conducted in May 2018 concluded that extensive structural modifications and repairs are required for the tower to meet Occupational Safety and Health Association regulations and bring it up to American Water Works Association standards. The city purchases its water from Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water, and approximately 50% of that water is lost through the water distribution system. This phase of the project will construct a new water tower and replace the water distribution system and the LPRW metering station to help ensure the health and safety of these essential services for years to come.
4. Cosmos, $4.55 million loan, $863,000 grant. This investment will be used to complete Phase 1 improvements to the city's water distribution, sanitary sewer collection and stormwater drainage systems throughout the northern half of the city. Much of the city's infrastructure was installed in the 1970s. The project will replace water, sanitary sewer and storm water pipes as well as associated street replacement to meet the current residential and commercial demands of the city. This project will improve the health and safety of the city's 495 residents.
5. Murdock, $20,000 grant. This investment will help to fund a preliminary engineering report and an environmental report for the city of Murdock. The city is currently making improvements to its municipal water system, and it has discovered additional work that needs to be done. The new reports will detail the results of an assessment of the wastewater system and additional areas of the water system, and propose solutions to correct deficiencies. It will include an itemization of the needs and evaluation of alternative methods to mitigate the deficiencies that have been discovered.
6. Wood Lake, $664,000 loan, $635,000 grant. This investment will be used to improve the water, wastewater and storm sewer. Project funds will be used to drill and connect a new pitless well near the existing water treatment plant. Two existing wells will be sealed, and corresponding well houses will be demolished. Project funds will also be used to purchase a new filter tank, generator and other related water treatment plan equipment. The two wells were built in 1927 and 1956 and are in poor condition. The project will help to address excess levels of lead and copper, and ensure the 439 residents of Wood Lake have safe, clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater and storm sewer disposal for years to come.