Hanna bill offers water infrastructure options for rural communities

UTICA – Congressman Richard Hanna is pushing a federal bill that he says will help rural communities upgrade their drinking water system without the crushing costs that often run into the millions.

Hanna announced last week that his proposal, titled the Water System Cost Savings Act, would ensure that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency include information about well water systems when offering technical assistance to communities about water system upgrades. The bill also requires small communities self-certify that they have considered well systems as an option.

Traditionally, the USDA and the EPA have not included well water information when providing technical assistance, meaning many rural communities are left in the dark when it comes to cheaper alternatives. Local taxpayers are thus burdened by multi-million dollar water infrastructure projects when a well water system would have come at a small fraction of the cost – sometimes less than a tenth of what communities spend on a new water system.

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