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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $1.8 million to improve rural water infrastructure in northwest Alabama.

The City of Tuscumbia is receiving a $217,000 loan that will allow the acquisition of a small sewer line from the Spring Valley wastewater system.

That will allow the city to bore additional lines under Highway 20 to provide for future expansion of the system.

Mayor Kerry Underwood said the city is coordinating with the Alabama Department of Transportation for the work. He said plans should be finalized in the next couple of months.

“They don’t really do sewers and we do,” Underwood said. “For us, it was just a convenient and a fair partnership to go ahead and acquire that from them so that now we will own the sewer line, we’ll take care of it, we’ll maintain it, and they can just focus on water. It was, for us, being a partnership with one of our community authorities.”

In Lauderdale County, the Chisholm Heights Water and Fire Protection Authority will receive a loan for $1,056,000 and a grant for $584,000 to make several upgrades to the authority’s water system.

Upgrades include the addition of a water pumping booster station, supply line, master water meter, and an additional water connection. The upgrades will reduce premature wear on the equipment and ensure a continual water supply for rural residents in the event of a mainline failure.