COLUMBIA, S.C. — The US Department of Agriculture has announced that it is investing $201 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 31 states, including South Carolina.

USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

South Carolina will be receiving just over $7 million in loans and $8.8 million in grants to improve water and sewer systems in the towns of Pageland and McCormick, and the Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission.

Details of the investments:

  • Town of Pageland, $4,244,000 loan/$4,526,000 grant to be used to provide additional funding for sewer system improvements. The improvements will help the town comply with a state-mandated consent order to provide reliable wastewater treatment. This will help Pageland meet current and future regulatory standards and provide for future growth. 
  • Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission, $1,756,000 loan/$3,828,670 grant to provide additional funding to construct a new water treatment plant and intake for the county. This investment will improve the county's water system by providing a long-term, sustainable and safe, water supply. This will support residential growth and industrial development for a population of roughly 39,596.
  • Town of McCormick, approximately 2,783 residents will benefit from these improvements to the water system:
    • $544,00 loan/$181,000 grant funding for Phase II Water Improvements that will include new water distribution lines, a new elevated tank and the demolition of the old water treatment facility. This will reduce any issues with the water system.  
    • $1,017,000 loan/$319,000 grant for Phase I Water System Improvement that will be used to include an activated carbon system and a potassium permanganate system. This will reduce any potential issues in the water system pertaining to total trihalomethanes.  

USDA awarded nearly $1.8 billion for Water and Environmental Program loans and grants during fiscal year 2019.

The USDA Rural Development project provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas.