The Rural Water Loan Fund (RWLF) is a funding program specifically designed to meet the unique needs of small water and wastewater utilities. The RWLF provides low-cost loans for short-term repair costs, small capital projects, or pre-development costs associated with larger projects. The RWLF was established through a grant from the USDA/RUS, and repaid funds used to replenish the fund and make new loans.
- Pre-development (planning) costs for infrastructure projects
- Replacement equipment, system upgrades, maintenance and small capital projects
- Energy efficiency projects to lower costs and improve system sustainability
- Disaster recovery or other emergency loans are available
- Reasonable, below market interest rate (currently 3%) and a maximum repayment period of 10 years
- Straightforward application process and quick turnaround time (just a few days if documents are in order)
- Loan amounts may not exceed $100,000 or 75% of the total project cost, whichever is less
- Emergency loans are 90-day no interest, with immediate turn around on applications
- NRWA charges no administrative or processing fees
- Systems must be public entities (municipalities, counties, special purpose districts, Native American Tribes, nonprofit corporations and cooperatives) serving up to 10,000 persons, or in rural areas with no population limits
RWLF Success: Darlington, Indiana
The community of Darlington, Ind. used the Rural Water Loan Fund to start repairs on their aging wastewater plant. The 30-year-old plant had been badly neglected and equipment was beginning to fail.“So many things are in dire need of repair,” explained Judy Anderson, Darlington Clerk-Treasure.“We weren’t aware of many of the problems.”
When it became clear major repairs and upgrades were needed, the town started seeking grants and loans to begin repairs. Darlington applied for a $500,000 State Development Block Grant three times and requested a similar-sized loan from their state loan fund.“We’ve tried to get a grant for I don’t know how long,”Anderson said.“We needed to get going.”
The town learned of the RWLF from a utility superintendent assisting their system. Darlington leaders saw the program as a chance to make some of the needed repairs while they waited on larger grants.“It was very simple, very quick”Anderson said. “They were very easy to work with.”
The town received a $100,000 loan and immediately began repairs to the wastewater plant. “There was an enormous need to get something done now,” Anderson said.“It’s hard to put into words all the things needed.It’s nice that there are things like this program for small towns.”
How Can I Apply?
Information can be emailed, if available electronically, to the email address below. Applications and supporting documents can also be sent by mail. Applicants may also contact any State Rural Water Association for assistance in preparing and submitting the required documents.
Mailing Address:Rural Water Loan Fund 2915 S. 13th Street Duncan, OK 73533