Three rural Oklahoma communities are receiving $7 million in grants and loans to improve water infrastructure. The money is part of a $462 million investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help modernize rural water and wastewater systems across 44 states.
"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,” Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said.
Beckham County, Maysville and Porum are receiving a mix of loans and grants to make improvements.
Porum received the most amount of money with a $3.5 million loan to help with its water system that was constructed in 1970. The town has reported water loss and low water pressure and aims to replace water lines and rehabilitate standpipes.
Maysville will receive a $1.8 million loan and $805,000 grant to make improvements to its 50-year old water system, including a new well and distribution system and replacing water lines.
Beckham County will receive a $911,000 loan to replace lines that were destroyed in a 2017 drought and flooding last year. Between the three projects, it’s estimated the projects will benefit 467,000 Oklahomans.