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South Carolina gets $9.5 million for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements

Loans and grants from US Department of Agriculture to cover three projects in Abbeville and Marion counties

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced recipients of loans and grants to be used to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure through the department's Water and Wastewater Disposal Loan and Grant Program. Of a total of $307 million distributed in 34 states and Puerto Rico, South Carolina has been given just over $9.5 million.

The money in South Carolina will go to fund three projects. The project list includes the amount of money in loans and/or grants and the USDA's description of the project:

  • Town of Calhoun Falls (Abbeville County): $1,272,000 in loans, $971,300 in grants: This Rural Development investment will be used to upgrade the water system with new meters, pipes, hydrants and connect the existing residential service lines to the installed pipes. Calhoun Falls has an aging infrastructure resulting in extensive water revenue loss in the system and excessive maintenance burden due to water distribution system leaks and breaks. The facility includes a master meter to receive water from the City of Abbeville and a master meter to distribute water to McCormick County. Additionally, there are over 45 miles of water distribution lines and two elevated water tanks for storage. This project will improve water service, reduce repairs, improve water pressure and upgrade its fire protection system for the town's customers
  • Town of Calhoun Falls (Abbeville County): $672,000 in loans, $1,710,800 in grants: This Rural Development investment will be used to upgrade the sewer system by replacing floating aerators with a diffused aeration system with blowers, installing a solar power generation system and cleaning out the existing sludge holding basin. Town of Calhoun Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) system consists of sewer collection lines, force mains, several sewer pump stations, a lagoon system, and a polishing pond with aerators. The WWTP is in fair condition and was last upgrade 19 years ago
  • Marco Rural Water Co. Inc. (Marion County): $4,911,800 in loans: This Rural Development investment will be used to construct a backup elevated water storage tank, backup water supply well and a backup water treatment facility in Marco's water system. New water lines will also be installed as part of the project and will enhance the systems flows around Marion County. MarCo’s water system was installed in the 1970s. Its water source comes from ten groundwater wells which are pumped daily to provide water for the system. The system has six elevated storage tanks. The wells are experiencing significant reductions in pumping capacity. Following the proposed improvements, the water system will have a new backup to the aging tank, a new backup water supply well and water treatment facility. This will greatly improve system flows in the southern portion of the system.

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

Abbeville and Marion counties are represented by Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott; Rep. Jeff Duncan represents Abbeville County and Rep. Tom Rice represents Marion County. 

The can see how the money has been allotted by viewing the distribution list online.

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