News Briefs: Lawmakers Battle With South Carolina City Over COVID-19 Water Shutoffs

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the USDA is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities

A pair of lawmakers in South Carolina are calling on the city of Denmark to rethink its decision to resume shutting off water to unpaid customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a joint statement, State Sen. Brad Hutto and Rep. Justin Bramberg said the city should not “put money or financial interests of government utility operations above a citizens’ right to basic necessities like running water and sewer.”

Meanwhile, Denmark Mayor Gerald Wright argues additional time has been given for payments. “But at some point, it gets worse,” he tells WRDW News. “So, we started just a couple days ago trying to get caught up with that. We did have some customers who had their water cut off because they were delinquent.”

Denmark has lost an estimated $50,000 in revenue due to unpaid bills the past few months.

WRF Funds 12 New Research Projects

The Water Research Foundation has funded 12 new Research Priority Program projects with a total funding amount of $2,125,000. This research allocation will be significantly leveraged with partnership funding and in-kind support.

Requests for Proposals for these projects will be released in August 2020. The Research Priority Program is WRF’s largest strategic research program, addressing broadly relevant subscriber issues, challenges and opportunities with targeted research spanning a three- to five-year period. 

For more information about the 12 projects, click here.

USDA Investing $281 Million Into Rural Water/Wastewater

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand recently announced that the department is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

“These investments will bring modern, reliable water and wastewater infrastructure to rural communities. They will replace deteriorating, leaking water pipes with new ones and upgrade water handling systems that are decades old. These investments create jobs and improve public health and safety for our rural neighbors,” Brand says.

See the full press release for details about the program and its projects.


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