USDA Invests $14 Million in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in Texas

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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. Acting Texas State Director Daniel Torres announced that three of those projects totaling $14 million are located in Texas. 

 

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 people who live in rural America. 

“Every community needs safe, reliable, and modern water and wastewater systems,” Secretary Vilsack said. “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.”

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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 The investments will help eliminate outdated pipes and service lines to safeguard public health and safety in rural communities.

Below are today’s investments in rural Texas:

  • El Oso Water Supply Corporation will use a $12.9 million loan to expand the water system capabilities by constructing a well, ground storage tank, and pumps as well as install two water transmission mains.  These improvements will meet the demands during peak times with the replacement of the existing line and will reduce the amount of water loss due to leaks and breaks. El Oso WSC provides service to five counties including Atascosa, Bee, Karnes, Live Oak, and Wilson. 
     
  • The city of Leary is receiving an $826,000 loan and $108,000 grant to construct a 100,000-gallon elevated storage tank.  Currently, the existing system is provided water by high service pumps working in conjunction with a pressure tank.  Upon completion of the proposed project existing and future water customers in the city will be provided with reliable water pressure and adequate volume throughout the system.
     
  • El Oso Water Supply Corporation will also use a $136,500 grant to install a 120KW standby diesel generator with automatic transfer switch at Karnes City Standpipe water plant as well as a 50 KW standby generator for the supervisory control and data acquisition. These generators will prevent a significant decline in quantity or quality of water due to power outages especially during the recent Texas arctic blast that occurred in February.  

Background:

The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and stormwater drainage. The program serves households and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less.

To learn more about these and other resources for rural areas, contact a USDA Rural Development state office.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. 

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

 

 

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