USDA rural infrastructure work coming to three area towns

USDA loans to benefit municipal sewer system, fire department

The Lake Andes -Ravinia Fire Protection District was a recent recipient of federal funds that will help improve its firefighting capabilities. (Submitted Photo)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced it is directing infrastructure funding to three south-central South Dakota communities.

That work includes more than $10 million in funding, including $2 million for the city of Lake Andes to improve the community's sanitary sewer system, almost $4.1 million to the city of Wagner for sanitary sewer work and another $24,000 to Wagner Early Childhood for daycare center improvements, and $4.65 million to Springfield to upgrade the community's drinking water infrastructure.

Lake Andes

The United States Department of Agriculture on Tuesday said it is investing $2.061 million in the city of Lake Andes to improve its infrastructure. The project should be finalized in the coming month.

The primary issue is a significantly high rate of infiltration and inflow that causes the sanitary sewer system to flood with groundwater, especially during heavy rains events, causing sewage backup that impacts homes and businesses. These conditions are further exasperated by the existing brick manholes which compound the infiltration and inflow problem. The majority of the city of Lake Andes’ sanitary sewer collection system was built in the 1920s with vitrified clay pipe and brick manholes.

The city completed rehabilitation projects in the 1980s and 2010 that addressed approximately one-third of the city’s issues. The remaining two-thirds of the system was classified as in fair to poor condition to less than poor condition and on the verge of collapse.


USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan funds of $332,000 and a grant fund of $891,000 was leveraged with an $838,000 Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal 306C Native American Grant, a $735,000 South Dakota Community Development Block Grant, $37,000 from South Central Water Development District and a $3,000 applicant contribution for a total project cost of $2,836,000. These investments will be used to refurbish the entire sewage collection system with cast in place pipe, including specialized coatings for the original manholes. This project has significantly improved Lake Andes’ existing wastewater collection system and serves 826 rural South Dakota Residents.


The city of Wagner is using USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal loan funds of $1,726,000 and grant funds of $2,364,000 to pair with $250,000 in local funding to pay for the $4.34 million project.

The community had previously relined asbestos cement and cast-iron pipe in past projects, but the remaining lines had misalignments, sags and collapsed lines, bringing these upgrades. These segments will be replaced by an open trench and water lines will be replaced as needed, as well. The investment will be used to replace approximately 2,700 lineal feet of cement pipe and approximately 7,765 lineal feet of sewer clay and cement pipe. In addition, the sewer grit chamber and manholes will be replaced throughout various parts of the city. The project will serve 1,889 residents.

Wagner Early Childhood is is licensed to serve 90 children. The center also offers physical therapy, occupational speech therapy, and offers after school programs and activities. Children are encouraged to explore and use their imagination in an enriched environment that offers swing sets, slides, sand toys, bike and walking path. Through a USDA grant, the facility's bathrooms will be upgraded to improve accessibility and lever faucets will be installed in the restrooms and kitchen area. In addition, the carpet is being replaced throughout the building. The federal funding was leveraged with an applicant contribution of $8,300.


The project is an estimated $7.5 million in cost, which includes federal funding of a $4,108,000 loan and a grant of $542,000. That will be combined with a South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources grant of $2 million, Community Development Block grant of $550,000. Springfield is contributing $300,000 toward the project.

The funding will be used to construct a new water treatment plant to replace the city's current facility, which was constructed in 1966. The new plant will have the capacity to withdraw water at 460 gallons per minute from the Missouri River. The treatment process will consist of initial pretreatment followed by membrane treatment and disinfection. Plant equipment will be housed in a 60- by 100-foot structure, just west of the current facility, which will be taken down once construction of the new facility is complete.

In addition, a new water intake system of the same size will be installed parallel to the existing intake line. This project will serve 746 Springfield residents and 36 businesses.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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