USDA/EPA Partnership to Improve Access to Modern Wastewater Infrastructure

The Department of Agriculture is strengthening its partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency to help people in rural and underserved communities access affordable, modern and safe wastewater infrastructure.

The actions further the continued collaborations between both agencies to revitalize the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, improve water quality and protect the health of people living in rural areas, according to USDA. Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad says, “Decentralized wastewater systems are an integral component of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure, especially in rural areas where centralized treatment is often too expensive or unavailable.”

USDA and EPA officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining an industry-wide initiative to improve the overall performance and management of decentralized systems in rural areas. Across the U.S., decentralized septic or onsite technology can provide communities and homeowners with a safe, affordable wastewater treatment option. The Decentralized Wastewater Management MOU was developed by EPA in 2005 and is updated every three years.