Area water, sewer improvements receive funding
Published 6:52 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Water and sewer system improvements should take place in the near future, thanks to funding from Alabama Department of Environmental Management grants.
Brewton, East Brewton Riverview and McCall have all been awarded grant funding to improve parts of water and sewer systems in their respective areas.
The grants to the local systems is part of a $343 million dollar program to repair and upgrade crumbling, malfunctioning and overwhelmed water and sewer systems in Alabama. The program is aimed at benefiting residents in nearly three-quarters of the state’s counties – with more funding to be announced in coming months, according to ADEM officials.
Funding for local systems include:
City of Brewton Brewton — Wastewater System Improvements – $4,026,050; and Water System improvements – lead service lines replacement – $3,937,875;
Brewton Water Works – Ridge Road Improvements to install new well near Damascus tank $1,300 and install water main across Hwy. 4 river $3,200,000;
East Brewton Water Works and Sewer Board – Sanitary sewer extensions – $1,484,000
Flomaton – sewer improvements – $1,423,200; Water main replacement – $1,072,600; and baseball field concession stand and bathrooms – $50,000;
McCall Water System – replacement of outdated meters and update well houses and treatment equipment – $800,000;
Town of Riverview – water system improvements – $872,000.
The $348 million include more than $77 million in grants approved for communities in Alabama’s Black Belt, where the combination of nonpermeable soil, low population density and low incomes creates special challenges. Those grants do not have to be repaid, and in most cases in the Black Belt do not require local matching money. In addition, ADEM has set aside another $45 million for Black Belt projects, which will bring its investment there to $122 million.
Many of the public water and sewer systems in Alabama — large and small; rural, urban and suburban — have significant repair and upgrade needs. Some residents also lack adequate water or sewer service, adversely affecting their health and quality of life. The loans and grants announced by ADEM are designed to address those problems.
“Thanks to Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature, we are making an unprecedented investment in water and sewer systems across Alabama to address long-standing and, in some cases, dire needs that go back decades,” ADEM Director Lance LeFleur said. “These funds are going to communities with the most critical needs that would not otherwise be able to afford the repairs and upgrades on their own. These projects are going to have a significant, positive effect on the lives of millions of Alabamians.”
ADEM is supplementing the $225 million with other federal and state funds. The Department expects to receive $765 million over the next five years ($137 million in 2022) from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress last year, and is combining that with $111 million in grants and loans through the State Revolving Fund (SRF). All totaled, ADEM expects to commit $473 million this year to water and sewer systems.
Nearly half of the state’s 1,061 public water and sewer systems statewide submitted requests for projects totaling more than $3.2 billion. As of Sept. 14, ADEM had awarded funding to systems in at least 48 of Alabama’s 67 counties.
ADEM has created a webpage, www.alabamawaterprojects.com, to provide the public with information about the program and regular updates on grant applications and awards. The webpage includes links to lists of the water and sewer systems that have applied for grants and loans, as well as those systems that already have been awarded funding. You can also access the information through ADEM’s website, www.adem.alabama.gov, under the “ARPA/SRF Updates” button.