Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) applauded $10,453,400 in federal funding for water improvement projects in rural Virginia. The funding, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), was awarded through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

“Virginians deserve access to safe drinking water and waste disposal systems, regardless of whether they live in a dense city, or a small rural community,” said the Senators. “That’s why we’re glad to know that these federal dollars will be put towards these much-needed projects in the Commonwealth.”  

The funding will be distributed as below:

The Nelson County Service Authority in Nelson County, Va. will receive $1,174,000 in loans and $3,149,400 in grants to make needed improvements to the Schuyler wastewater system. Construction includes rehabilitation of approximately 12,760 linear feet of gravity sewer and the replacement of the trickling filter wastewater treatment plant with an extended air-activated sludge package plant. This project will correct an existing health hazard identified by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which issued a Notice of Violation based on incidences of noncompliance for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BODs) and E. Coli. Violations occur due to a combination of the degradation of the treatment plant and excessive inflow and infiltration from the collection system.

The Scott County Public Service Authority in Scott County, Va. will receive $269,000 in loans and $269,000 in grants to provide public sewer service to the Daniel Boone community and correct a health hazard caused by failing private septic systems. Currently, many residents straight-pipe raw sewage to creeks and/or the ground and are not in compliance with the Commonwealth of Virginia's Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations.

The Town of Amherst in Amherst County, Va. will receive $397,000 in loans and $938,000 in grants to make improvements to the town's wastewater collection and treatment system. The collection system was installed in the 1960's and 1970's and consists of terra cotta and concrete pipes. The most significant problems are structural failure and inflow and infiltration. The local health district has documented sewerage overflows that have created a public health threat as they overflow into individual homes, residential areas, and commercial areas. Construction includes the replacement and/or rehabilitation of approximately 42,154 linear feet of collection lines, manholes, bypass pumping, and related appurtenances. In addition, existing equipment at the wastewater treatment plant will be replaced, including new effluent disc filter equipment, a new ultraviolet disinfection system, and the replacement of a pump station.

The Town of Big Stone Gap in Wise County, Va. will receive $1,762,000 in loans and $2,091,000 in grants to make improvements to the town's water distribution system. The system is out of compliance with state waterworks regulations for minimum pressure, which creates cross contamination with groundwater and allows pathogens to enter the water system, creating a health hazard. Construction includes the replacement of approximately 33,500 linear feet of 3/4-inch to 10-inch water line, installation of master meters, replacement of water meters, a pump station upgrade, and related appurtenances. 

The Town of Clifton Forge in Alleghany County, Va. will receive $404,000 in loans to make improvements to the town's dam. These additional funds are awarded to complete the project. The dam is located on Smith Creek, a tributary to the Jackson River in Alleghany County, and impounds the drinking water reservoir that feeds the water treatment plant. Under the new Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Dam Safety regulations, the structure has been classified as a "high hazard dam" with a documented principal spillway deficiency and inadequate structural stability. This project will bring the dam into compliance with dam safety regulations and includes raising the non-overflow sections of the dam, raising the left non-overflow earth buttressed core wall section, removing the existing spillway piers, installing one vertical anchor per spillway monolith and sealing a horizontal joint leak. Finally, the existing bridge piers and pedestrian bridge will be demolished and replaced with a single-span steel truss pedestrian bridge.

The USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant 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.