Funding Sources for Small and Rural Wastewater Systems
EPA and other organizations provide funding to improve water and wastewater systems in small and rural communities.
- Funding for All Communities
- Funding for Tribal Communities
- Funding for U.S.-Mexico Border Communities
EPA Funding Sources
- Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)
Funds water quality protection projects for centralized and decentralized wastewater treatment, nonpoint source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management. The CWSRF uses federal, state, and other program funds to provide low-interest loans to communities for water quality projects. States may customize loan terms to meet the needs of small, disadvantaged communities, which typically have fewer financing options.
- Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)
Funds infrastructure improvements in drinking water systems. The DWSRF emphasizes funding to small and economically disadvantaged communities and other programs that encourage preventing pollution to drinking water.
- Environmental Justice Grants and Cooperative Agreements
Provide financial assistance to eligible organizations to develop collaborative partnerships, identify environmental and public health issues, and develop projects.
- Nonpoint Source Grants Program (Section 319 of the Clean Water Act)
Provides grants for activities that prevent water pollution from nonpoint sources, including education, training, technical and financial assistance, technology transfer, demonstration projects, and monitoring nonpoint source implementation projects. Eligible projects include decentralized wastewater systems.
- Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) Grant Program
Assists states, territories, and tribes to develop and implement PWSS programs to enforce the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Water Pollution Control Grants Program (Section 106 of the Clean Water Act)
Provides federal assistance to states, territories, the District of Columbia, Indian tribes, and interstate agencies to establish and implement ongoing water pollution control programs.
Non-EPA Funding Sources
- Appalachian Regional Commission Exit
A federal-state partnership that promotes sustainable communities and economic development in Appalachia.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environmental Programs
Provide loans, grants, and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, and storm drainage facilities in rural areas, cities, and towns with populations of 10,000 or less. Public bodies, non-profit organizations, and recognized Indian tribes may qualify for assistance.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Community Development Block Grants
Provide funds for long-term community needs, including rehabilitation, construction, or purchase of public facilities and infrastructure for water treatment and centralized and decentralized wastewater systems.
Additional Resources for Watershed Protection
On-line compendium created by EPA consisting of EPA and non-EPA tools, databases, and information about funding to practitioners and funders that protect watersheds.
- Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection
A searchable database of financial assistance sources (grants, loans, and cost-sharing) to fund a variety of watershed protection projects. To select funding programs for wastewater projects, select “wastewater” under “keywords.”
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
Lists federal programs available to state and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; territories and possessions of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.
EPA Tribal Funding Sources
- Alaska Native Villages and Rural Communities Grant Program
Assists Alaska Native Villages and Alaska’s rural communities to construct new or improve existing drinking water and wastewater systems. Funds training and technical assistance to operate and maintain these systems. EPA provides grants to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, which administers the funds through its Village Safe Water Program.
- Clean Water Indian Set-Aside (CWISA) Program
Provides funds for wastewater infrastructure to Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages. The CWISA Program is administered in cooperation with the Indian Health Service (IHS). To be considered for CWISA funding, tribes must identify their wastewater needs through the IHS Sanitation Deficiency System.
- Indian Environmental General Assistance Program
Provides grants to federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia to develop and implement wastewater and other programs on tribal lands.
- Tribal Public Water System Supervision Support Grants
Assist tribes implement water system supervision programs to ensure their water systems comply with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements and standards.
- Tribal Water Pollution Control Program Grants (Section 106 of the Clean Water Act)
Assist Indian tribes implement effective water pollution control programs.
Non-EPA Tribal Funding Sources
- Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Exit
Plans, designs, and constructs drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities for Alaska Native communities.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Native American Tribes
Works with public and nonprofit organizations to provide funding options to communities in rural America including water and wastewater loans and grants.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Native Americans, Environmental Regulatory Enhancement Grants
Provide tribes with resources to develop legal, technical and organizational capacities, and protect their natural environments.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service, Sanitation Facilities Construction Program
Provides technical and financial assistance to Indian tribes and Alaska Native communities for the cooperative development and continuing operation of safe water, wastewater, and solid waste systems, and related support facilities.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Indian Community Development Block Grant Program
Provides direct grants to develop viable Indian and Alaska Native communities, including decent housing, a suitable living environment, economic opportunities, and water and sewer facilities, primarily for low and moderate income persons.
- U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs
Provides services through contracts, grants, and compacts to American Indians and Alaska Natives to enhance quality of life, promote economic opportunity, and protect and improve environmental assets.
- U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Native American Affairs Technical Assistance Program
Provides technical assistance to Indian Tribes to develop, manage, and protect water and related resources. Activities include water needs assessments, improved water management studies, water quality data collection and assessments, and water measurement studies.
- U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Grant Program
Provides grant assistance to communities along the U.S.-Mexico border for planning, designing, and constructing drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The U.S.-Mexico border region is defined as 100 kilometers (62 miles) north and 100 kilometers south of the U.S.-Mexico border. EPA's grant program supports the Project Development Assistance Program, administered by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, and the Border Environmental Infrastructure Fund, administered by the North American Development Bank.
- U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Program
The latest environmental program implemented under the 1983 La Paz Agreement. The program emphasizes regional, bottom-up approaches for decision-making, priority setting, and project implementation to address environmental and public health problems in the border region. The program encourages participation from communities and local stakeholders.