WCSA Receives $18.5 Million in USDA Rural Development Funding for Sewer Expansion Project

Nov 28, 2018 | WCSA

ABINGDON, Va. ― The Washington County Service Authority (WCSA) recently received $18.5 million in financial assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

The funding package includes an RUS grant in the amount of $9,165,000 and an RUS loan in the amount of $9,355,000. The funding will be used to extend sanitary sewer to residents and businesses along Lee Highway and Jonesboro Road between Exit 13 and the city of Bristol, Virginia.

“We are delighted to receive RUS funding to help us provide crucial sewer services to more of our community members,” says Robbie Cornett, general manager of WCSA. “This is one of the largest grants in WCSA’s history. When constructed, this project will provide the backbone for a sewer conveyance system along the Lee Highway corridor area, and will also enable WCSA to extend public sewer service from the conveyance system into neighborhoods along these two corridors.”

When the overall sewer expansion project is complete, approximately 842 existing residents and businesses will have access to public sewer service.

“We are very excited about the prospect of obtaining sewer service for this area,” says Dwayne Ball, member of the Washington County Board of Supervisors, who represents the Wilson election district. “I believe that it will be a great asset to the area and will promote business growth in the county. Many neighborhoods in the area will benefit from the line extension as well. I greatly appreciate the work that Robbie Cornett and the Washington County Service Authority did in procuring the grant. I would also like to thank Rep. Morgan Griffith and his staff for their efforts in the process. Our board looks forward to working with them on future endeavors.”

The RUS administers programs that provide much-needed infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. These include water and waste treatment, electric power and telecommunications services. All of these services play a critical role in helping to expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Utilities programs connect rural residents to the global economy by developing reliable and affordable rural water and wastewater systems, among other services, systems and technologies.

“Several years ago, the board of supervisors and WCSA’s board of commissioners commissioned a study on the provision of sewer service in the Exit 13 area,” Cornett says. “Since that time, we have been fortunate to achieve several projects that have benefited a number of residents and businesses in the Exit 13 area. This newest project is the next step in a long line of forward-thinking objectives that will help bring public sewer service to this portion of Washington County.”

The RUS-funded project will involve the construction of nearly 67,000 feet of force main line, more than 42,000 feet of gravity sewer line and four pumping stations. The project is currently in the planning stages and will be completed in a series of phases.

More About WCSA

The WCSA serves approximately 22,000 water connections and approximately 2,300 wastewater connections in Washington County, Virginia, and surrounding areas. The water system consists of approximately 900 miles of water line, a 12-million-gallon-per-day surface water treatment plant, a 2.5-million-gallon-per-day membrane filtration plant, two springs, one well, 29 pump stations and 22 water storage tanks. The wastewater system consists of approximately 70 miles of wastewater collection lines, 29 lift stations and two wastewater treatment plants. For more information about WCSA, visit



For additional information, contact Robbie Cornett,
general manager, at 276-628-7151, ext. 224.



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