Staff Reports

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $891 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 43 states. As part of today’s announcement, $29.1 Million will be awarded to five South Carolina Rural Water and Wastewater projects. 

The Barrineau Public Utilities Co., Inc. is receiving a $4.6 million loan and a $2.4 million grant to extend water lines within its in rural service areas in Williamsburg, Clarendon and Florence counties.  The system has been affected by increased demand caused by low flow issues in various parts of the system, preventing the system from meeting the minimum fire flow requirements and causing fire hydrants to be removed from service.

The proposed project consists of the installation of new lines to provide service and improve fire protection for 140 new customers. Moreover, a well and elevated storage tank will also be constructed to provide access to drinking water for 175 households in the rural PBU area. These residents currently obtain their drinking water from shallow on-site wells. 

“Upgrading water infrastructure provides a path to economic growth and protects the health and safety of people who live and work in rural areas,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

In total, these 220 projects will help improve rural water infrastructure for 787,000 residents. The projects are being funded through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less.