USDA funding for wastewater projects

Posted by on May 15, 2012

We have all heard stories of how the current economy has taken its toll on business in Alabama, and quite often I find myself talking about the “good old days” when my biggest problem was figuring out how to manage so many projects.

And then I wake up to reality and an economy where very little money seems to be flowing into new projects.

I was recently speaking with a prominent general contractor from Birmingham, and he mentioned that over 90 percent of his ongoing construction projects are funded by the federal government.

Most companies in the on-site wastewater industry have thrived for years on private developer-owned construction projects, but since banks have tightened their purse strings the only money that seems to be flowing is from the federal government.

It seems that every project owner or contractor who is still staying busy has learned how to compete for government-funded projects.

The logical question is:  How does one in the on-site wastewater industry capitalize on the few opportunities that exist?

One possible answer to that question is to provide leadership and creativity, two things that are very important to us at Sain Associates.  Leadership and creativity are needed to figure out how to promote new projects that will benefit citizens by correcting existing problems with failing septic systems.

One strategy we have seen in the design industry relates to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Administration.

The USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Program was established to assure that safe drinking water was available to rural populations in all states.

Basically, this strategy is based on identifying problem areas where many failing on-site wastewater disposal systems are threatening groundwater quality, and then promoting new projects with the USDA Rural Development Administration to correct these problems.

Next week we’ll delve further into the history and purpose of the USDA Rural Development Administration and the application process.

Sain Associates, Inc., is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Cullman, Alabama, Pulaski, Tennessee and Mandeville, Louisiana. Sain is a site engineering, traffic/transportation engineering and planning and land surveying firm with experience in more than thirty states.

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