Assisting with Critical Wastewater Planning Activities for Improved Infrastructure

Town of Brooks awarded USDA wastewater utilities grant

Thu, 08/27/2020 - 10:15am

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs announced on August 25 the awarding of two Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) grants totaling $52,600. The investments will assist the Town of Brooks and Eagle Lake Water and Sewer District to improve and develop wastewater utilities.

In Maine, USDA Rural Development is investing a total of $52,600 million to assist two communities:

The Town of Brooks has been selected to receive a grant in the amount of $22,600. Town of Brooks does not have a public wastewater collection and treatment system, according to the USDA, in a news release. Individual residences and businesses provide for their own wastewater treatment and disposal through subsurface systems and suspected overboard discharges to the stream.

This Rural Development investment will be used for a water and wastewater system study that will provide an analysis of wastewater treatment needs, options, cost analysis, and other information required to support future applications for funding wastewater projects through USDA Rural Development and other agencies. 

“Supporting quality water and wastewater infrastructure is a key commitment of the Trump Administration. This important funding will assist two rural Maine communities in planning for improvement and development of critical wastewater infrastructure,” said Hobbs.

The Eagle Lake Water and Sewer District has been selected to receive a grant in the amount of $30,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to conduct an engineering study of its current wastewater system to include evaluating the treatment lagoons and overall system, the spray irrigation pump station and controls, and the pumping stations in the collection system. The applicant is a quasi-municipal district and provides wastewater collection and treatment services to rural residents in Eagle Lake. The existing system is approximately 36 years old and many components are beginning to have issues due to age. The study of the existing conditions of the wastewater system will be used to identify needed improvements and identify and evaluate alternatives. Upon completion of the study, the District will be ready to implement the recommended improvements to improve the facilities' over all treatment process to meet EPA's discharge requirements.

To learn more about water and wastewater investment resources for rural areas in Maine, interested parties should contact Robert Nadeau, Community Programs Director, at (207) 990-9121 or

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit