WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 20

addition to higher cost loans from the
private sector, rural water systems can
apply for loans from the Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) State Revolving
Loan Fund, which supports large and
small systems.
"While the USDA dedicates 100
percent of available loan and grant funds
to rural and small communities, 77
percent of the EPA Clean Water Funds
and 72 percent of Drinking Water Funds
for fiscal year 2015 went to systems
serving populations of over 10,000," says
Holmes. "In comparison, 85 percent of
the projects supported by USDA funds
served populations of 5,000 or less,
and 41 percent of those projects served
populations of 1,000 or fewer."
The significance of the different sized
populations served by rural water systems
versus larger systems is the number of
consumers who support the system.
Without low interest loans and grants
that can be used for major upgrades or
expansions, the financial burden falls
to consumers to pay escalating water
bills that they may not be able to afford.
Not only do USDA funds keep monthly
bills affordable, but the infrastructure
development supports economic growth in
small communities.
In a 30-mile square area of South
Central Iowa the Mahaska Rural Water
System serves 3,275 customers - about
one-third are city residents and two-thirds
are rural residents. USDA loans and grants
totaling $6.6 million in 1980 were used to
acquire and upgrade the city system, and
build the rural system.

Mahaska Rural Water System.

20

WATERPRO 2017

"The 1980 backbone of the system is
still working well, and we've been able
to use private money to upgrade the
system as needed," says Randy Pleima,
manager of the utility and national
director of NRWA.
The existence of a stable, financially
viable water and wastewater system
has attracted several small businesses
that employ up to 10 people to the
area, but the greatest growth in the
area is related to livestock production,
says Pleima. "In 1996, our area had no
livestock operations and today we serve

200 operations that include chicken, dairy
and swine feedlots," he says. "These
operations would not be possible without
reliable water service."
In addition to providing loans and
grants, USDA supports programs that
provide technical assistance and training
to small, rural systems, points out Pleima.
"These programs provide expertise, advice
and resources that rural utilities do not
have in-house," he says. "Without all of
the USDA programs, there are many rural
water systems that would not exist or
flourish today." ●

By the Numbers: USDA Rural Water
and Waste Disposal Program
72: Number of years the program has been in place
96,724: Number of loans and grants awarded by USDA since
program inception
54.6 billion: Dollar amount of loans and grants provided by USDA
85: Percent of USDA-funded projects that serve populations of less
than 5,000
41: Percent of USDA-funded projects that serve populations of less
than 1,000
81: Percent of the community water utilities that serve populations of
less than 3,300

Rural Water Funds Keep Systems Viable
Not all activities and projects supported by the USDA Rural Water and
Waste Disposal Program are "big ticket" items that span several years in
development and construction.
* Technical assistance helped a Grand Junction, Iowa water system
address odor complaints. Recommendations that included acquisition
of additional testing equipment, an increase in chlorine feed levels and
overflowing the storage tanks resolved complaints and ensured stable
chlorine levels.
* Technical assistance and funding from USDA helped refurbish the
manholes, solving an inflow problem and saving the community over
$3,000 per year.
* When California's Proposition 50 created new state regulations for
drinking water treatment, the North Kaweah Mutual Water Company in
Three Rivers, California found itself in need of a $1.99 million upgrade
to meet the new requirements. Although the utility qualified for state
funding for construction, a Rural Water bridge loan provided the funds for
engineering services, plan generation and grant application.
Visit https://nrwa.org/category/usda/ for more details on these and other
stories of community water systems that benefitted from USDA support.


https://www.nrwa.org/category/usda/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WaterPro Magazine - 2017

Rural Water Systems Flourishing with Support of USDA
NRWA's Regulatory Committee
Associational Opportunity
The Success of the Revolving Loan
Tennessee’s Volunteers Establish Emergency Water Treatment Plant in Under Three Weeks
WaterPro Apprenticeship Advances
NRWA Products and Services
From the President
From the Deputy CEO
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Intro
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - cover1
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - cover2
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 3
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 4
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 5
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 6
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 7
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 8
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 9
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 10
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - From the President
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 12
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - From the Deputy CEO
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 14
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 15
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 16
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Rural Water Systems Flourishing with Support of USDA
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 18
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 19
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 20
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 21
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - NRWA's Regulatory Committee
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 23
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 24
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 25
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 26
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 27
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 28
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 29
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 30
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 31
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 32
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 33
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 34
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Associational Opportunity
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 36
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 37
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 38
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 39
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 40
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 41
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 42
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - The Success of the Revolving Loan
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 44
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 45
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Tennessee’s Volunteers Establish Emergency Water Treatment Plant in Under Three Weeks
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 47
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 48
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 49
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 50
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - WaterPro Apprenticeship Advances
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 52
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 53
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - NRWA Products and Services
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 55
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 56
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 58
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - cover3
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - cover4
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