The Village of Hammond has been awarded $850,000 in funding by the United States Department of Agriculture to help improve its water system. The upgrade will help alleviate health hazards due to high nitrate levels in the current system.

The funding, announced by USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chad Rupe on Aug. 8, includes a $450,000 grant and $400,000 loan.

A total of $135 million is being invested in 49 projects to improve rural water infrastructure in 24 states.

For Hammond, the project will add a chlorine injection point at the end of the treatment process, replace 2-inch water mains with 4-inch water mains and loop the system to avoid dead end lines. The project will also replace all current manual read water meters with remote broadcasting, continuous interval reading meters.

The work will also alleviate the numerous line breaks within the system which causes either a shortage of water or requires their residents to continually boil water for human consumption.

USDA is making the investments through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

About USDA Rural Development

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 www.rd.usda.gov.