USDA invests $1.3 million to improve rural water infrastructure

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Indiana Rural Development Acting State Director Curtis Johnson announced that USDA is investing $272 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for 270,000 people living in rural communities across 37 states and Puerto Rico.

“USDA is committed to helping our rural communities improve their infrastructure to support job creation, public health and safety,” Johnson said. “By working with our partners and leveraging our resources, we are able to help rural Indiana communities build back better and stronger than ever before.”

The Town of Elizabethtown is using a $687,000 loan to update and improve its wastewater facility for 500 users. This project will improve the functionality of the wastewater system, bring it into compliance with Indiana Department of Environmental Management standards and help maintain safe drinking water. This funding will be supplemented with $700,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program.

The Town of Hazleton is using a $525,000 grant to make repairs to its water system. The town has experienced outages with their water source due to flooding from the White River and improvements include rehabilitating the water treatment facility, water wells and standpipe and water main work. The town will also enter into a contract with Pike-Gibson Water to provide a backup supply to the town. This investment will help the 400 residents not only improve their current water system but provide them with a much needed backup supply to prevent disruptions in service. This funding will be supplemented with $700,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program and $94,000 from the National Rural Water Loan program.

The Town of Oaktown will use a $50,000 loan to provide additional funding to update drainage systems with storm sewers, inlets and ditches in several critical areas of need initially funded in 2019. The new storm water drainage facilities will increase storm water runoff capture and more efficiently transfer storm water to appropriate outlets. The systems will decrease ponding and flooding from rain events that the 600 users are currently experiencing. This funding will be supplemented with $600,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program

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

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.

Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting or calling 317-290-3100. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.