Funding will Improve Rural Water Infrastructure for 11,000 Rural Wisconsinites

STEVENS POINT, Wis., August 4, 2020 – Wisconsin State Director Frank Frassetto announced today that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $462 million to modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across rural Wisconsin.

“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,” Frassetto said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner with rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”


USDA is funding 161 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. These investments will benefit 467,000 residents. The following are examples of projects being funded under today’s announcement in Wisconsin.

  • The City of Cumberland will use a $6.1 million loan and a $2.1 grant to upgrade the city’s gravity sewer system and will serve 2,170 users. The city will be extending utilities to the location of a new hospital. This is a vital need for the hospital and is critical for residential growth on the northwest side of the city. Upgrades include lining and replacement of priority sanitary sewer segments throughout the city to reduce inflow and infiltration received at the wastewater treatment plant, investing in the sanitary sewer infrastructure to extend the useful life, upgrading aging manholes, addition of chimney seals on all manholes to prevent infiltration, lift station upgrades or replacement and replacing of force main that can no longer be rehabilitated.
  • The Village of Lannon will use a $5 million loan and a $3.5 million grant to upgrade its water system. This project will extend the water main and add 175 residential customers and one commercial customer to the existing system. The project also includes the addition of an acquired well and well facility. This project is essential by providing a backup water source in the event the well would become contaminated or have a break down and to extend service to homeowners who have private wells that are failing. Approximately 1,100 residents will benefit from this project.
  •  The City of Viroqua will use a $3 million loan for water and sewer utility upgrades in the south-central area of the city. This project will address issues with undersized cast iron mains and fire flow that are significant health and sanitary issues, lead gooseneck connected to galvanized lines, watermains that have lead joints, valves that are hard to operate and don’t hold water and requirements for minimum separation. Funds will be used to replace cracked and missing sewer mains in the affected areas with 8-inch polyvinyl chloride that will prevent leakage into the ground and provide stability and reliability of the system. This project will address sewer overflows that are significant health and sanitary issues. Funds will also be used to install 8″ iron watermains and replace main valves, hydrants and utility owned portions of the water service. These upgrades will serve 4,362 users.
  • The Village of Rock Springs will use an $396,000 loan and a $228,000 grant to upgrade the village sanitary sewer system that was impacted by major reoccurring flooding in 2008, 2010, 2018 and 2019. The village has three sanitary sewer lift stations of which two were impacted by the floodwaters causing major damage to the equipment, resulting in backups into several basements and wastewater bypass pumping into the Baraboo River. Due to the damage to the two upstream lift stations, one station received excessive wear and tear. The problems with the lift stations are ongoing as they are inundated every time the Baraboo River rises. The village plans to implement the following sanitary sewer projects: replace lift stations that were damaged in 2008 and 2018 floods, upgrade or replace the lift station which is located downstream of the others to increase the pumping capacity and handle wastewater flows during major flood events and construct sanitary sewer mains to serve a residential area located outside of the floodplain for single family homes and apartments that are relocating out of floodplain areas. These upgrades will serve 362 users. will use a $300,000 loan to provide additional financing for the water and sewer project funded in 2019 for $5 million and will serve 1,202 users.
  • The Village of Sister Bay will use a $300,000 loan to provide additional financing for the water and sewer project funded in 2019 for $5 million and will serve 1,202 users. The current facility, put into use in 1990, has performed satisfactorily but is becoming increasing difficult to maintain critical equipment due to unavailability of spare parts. This project will include the following improvements to the facility: oxidation ditch drives and shafts, clarifier drive replacement, clarifier dome, painting and septage handling, replacement of the electrical power distribution, HVAC equipment and a new SCADA system. Expansion will also take place to the service building/garage including a 5-stall garage, electrical room, maintenance room, upgrades to become ADA compliant, upgrades to heating/HVAC, electrical and high-speed internet.
  • The City of Gillett will use an $484,000 loan and a $82,000 grant to provide additional financing for the water and sewer project funded in 2017 for $2.8 million and will serve 1,386 users. This project will upgrade the city water distribution and sewer collection systems. Water mains in the proposed area are comprised primarily of cast iron and are generally in poor condition. The water mains are being replaced due to the number of water main breaks and age. Sewer mains in the proposed area are comprised of clay tile that is in generally poor condition. They have sustained excessive infiltration due cracks in the pipes, leaking joints and tree root intrusion. Upgrades include replacing sewer mains on three streets to remove root penetration, repair cracks and increase slopes in some areas to meet WI Department of Natural Resources requirements.

The investments that USDA announced today are being made in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact our Wisconsin USDA Rural Development office at 715-345-7600 or

USDA Rural Development 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. For more information, visit

If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

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