The South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has awarded more than $13 million in grant funds for water, sewer and drainage construction projects across the state.
State Department of Commerce spokeswoman Adrienne Fairwell told South Carolina Radio Network that the grants can be used for various types of construction for improvements to a municipality’s water or sewer systems.
“They can also be used for improvements to collection and distribution lines, storage tanks, pump stations, treatment plants,” she said.
The new round of grants brings the fiscal year total to $24 million spread over 61 projects.
Beyond making direct improvements to collection and distribution lines, storage tanks, pump stations and treatment plants, such projects will impact more than 50,000 residential customers and 6,000 businesses by ensuring safe drinking water for residents, providing reliability for area businesses and boosting economic opportunities. “Projects that would ultimately help the quality of life for residents in those areas,” Fairwell said.
Fairwell said many water and sewer utilities across South Carolina are faced with aging infrastructure that is in need of constant rehabilitation and repair. Not only does this work result in disruptions in service, but it also serves as a reminder that upgrades are needed to ensure that all customers are provided with modern and efficient infrastructure.
RIA grants are awarded twice a year through a competitive process that considers the need for improved public health, environmental protection, community sustainability and economic development. Applicants are required to match the RIA funding request. Applications are selected by the RIA board based on criteria, including: severity of the problem, expected impact and project feasibility.