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USDA invests $16.9 million in Utah for critical rural water and disposal systems

South Jordan Landfill
Geoff Livingston
South Jordan Landfill

To help increase access to clean and reliable water systems and solid waste treatment in rural areas of the west, the USDA has invested $16.9 million in Utah organizations. But how does Utah plan to do this?

Debra Meyer, Acting State Director of the Utah Rural Development Office, said these funds will help places with populations under 10,000.

“The solid waste management grant; we have an entity who provides technical assistance and training to rural communities who are looking to either put in a landfill or need to upgrade their landfill,” said Meyer. “Or they have gone out and assisted communities that have illegal dump sites and provide the training needed for these communities on how to get started or where they can go.”

This entity will offer training to small rural landfills throughout Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Hawaii and Guam.

In Millville, funds will be used to replace the city’s septic tanks with a sewer system.

“Because they have reached over capacity on their septic systems, it is contaminating their drinking water. So, in order to stop the contamination, they have put a moratorium on the community for no more growth, no more business,” said Meyer. “They are at a standstill unless they put in a sewer system.”

This project could take anywhere from two to five years, depending on the direction the city goes with its construction plans.

Kailey Foster is a senior at Utah State University studying Agricultural Communications, Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science while also getting a minor in Agribusiness. She was raised in the dairy industry in Rhode Island where she found her passion for the agriculture industry as a whole. Here at USU, she has held various leadership positions in the Dairy Science Club and the local Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. She also also served as the 2020 Utah Miss Agriculture and is currently the 2021 Utah Ms. Agriculture. Here at UPR, she works on agriculture news stories and she produces agriculture segments such as USU Extension Highlights, the Green Thumb, and Ag Matters.