This week, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) strongly endorsed two bipartisan bills sponsored by U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Shelly Moore Capito aimed at improving water well quality, wastewater, and septic systems for rural homeowners across the United States. This legislation will impact Americans living in areas where there is limited access to a public drinking water or wastewater facilities and collectively these bills will help guarantee that every community in the United States can achieve access to safe sanitation and protect public health.

An amendment to USDA-Rural Development’s successful Household Water Well System Loan and Grant Program is being introduced and will allow eligible non-profits to offer low-interest loans and grants to low-income homeowners in rural areas facing wastewater or septic system failure. These loans and grants will be critical for many homeowners to upgrade their well and septic systems, protecting the health and safety of individuals, communities, and the environment.

Additionally, new legislation being introduced will allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to offer grants to qualified non-profits for offering low-interest loans and grants to low-income homeowners for septic improvements or upgrades. Priority will be given to homeowners who currently lack adequate plumbing, wastewater, or septic systems. This program will assist those in greatest need to ensure that no American must live without the basics.

“Too many rural homeowners are facing challenges in upgrading or building new wells and septic systems in Rural America,” said Nathan Ohle, Executive Director of RCAP. “In many cases, the lack of adequate plumbing and septic systems has caused dirty cesspools, ground and surface water contamination, and has threated public health and the environment,” Ohle said. “Organizations like RCAP and our network partners see this every day in our work with small towns, rural communities, and homeowners. RCAP works with rural communities on better water quality from both public drinking water systems or private wells and adequate wastewater system disposal. This work is vital to protecting the public health and the vitality of rural communities across our nation. RCAP commends Senators Booker and Capito in offering bipartisan policy solutions to this growing problem and we look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to ensure these solutions are passed.”

RCAP is a non-profit organization working to ensure rural and small communities throughout the United States have access to safe drinking water and sanitary wastewater and solid waste disposal. To learn more about this work visit: RCAC is the Western RCAP operating in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Media Contact: Spenser Wempe
Rural Community Assistance Partnership
(202) 408-1273