TOPEKA – U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Kansas Lynne Hinrichsen announced Tuesday that USDA is investing $12,902,000 to modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across rural Kansas, including Russell County and Liebenthal in Rush County.
“Upgrading the infrastructure that delivers safe drinking water and modern wastewater management facilities will improve public health and drive economic development in our small towns and cities,” Hinrichsen said.
Background: USDA is funding four projects in Kansas through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The following are examples of projects being funded.
· Russell – Rural Water District #3 will use a $5.014 million loan and a $2.783 million grant to improve existing water system infrastructure. Project funds will replace existing water mains and improve the system hydraulics, allowing the system to operate off one centralized elevated storage tank and one standpipe. This project will help to reduce water loss, greatly reduce maintenance needs, and provide adequate storage for the District.
· Dickinson – The City of Chapman will use a $3.368 million loan to improve wastewater treatment infrastructure. This project will relocate and replace a main wastewater lift station, install new force main, construct a new two-cell non-discharging wastewater lagoon system, and demolish the current wastewater treatment plant. Once complete, the city will be back in compliance with the National Pollution Discharge Environment System permit to continue protecting the groundwater and streams from contamination, as well as provide efficient and sustainable wastewater service for the city's 1,393 residents. This partnership is made possible with a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce.
· Linn – Rural Water District #2 will use a $1.516 million loan to install water lines and construct a 50,000-gallon elevated storage tank for customers currently getting water from individual water wells, lake water and/or hauling water for their daily use. Several customers currently have systems that do not meet Safe Drinking Water Act standards. The District's existing distribution pipeline does not allow all new customers to be served economically, and the water tower is at capacity and unable to accommodate new customers. By expanding the District, these new customers will have access to safe and economical water for years to come. This partnership is made possible with a $160,000 contribution from the applicant.
· Rush – The City of Liebenthal will use $97,000 loan and a $124,000 grant to replace their outdated pump station with a new pump station within the existing wetwell, increasing efficiency and streamlining maintenance. Additionally, modifications to the existing wastewater treatment lagoons include removing the berm between two of the cells and using the excavated soil to repair the side slopes. Improvements will help the city to continue providing efficient and sanitary wastewater treatment for the local 103 residents. This partnership is made possible with a $220,850 Community Development Block Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact the USDA Rural Development office at 785-271-2700 or www.rd.usda.gov/ks.