The Anson-Madison Water District will get $3.2 million in federal money to update about a third of the aging system’s main water line.

While the district’s Board of Trustees voted to accept the money earlier this year, it was officially announced Thursday by Virginia Manuel, rural development state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The funding package includes a water and waste disposal loan of $2.4 million and a $800,000 grant to replace aging infrastructure, a project that could go out to bid in the coming months, district officials have said.

Manuel, in a news release, said that the funding will help improve the area’s water system, which serves about 1,600 households and 105 businesses and public buildings in Anson and Madison.

“This investment will assist both communities to attract businesses and continue to invest in the quality of life of their residents,” she said.

The plan is to replace about 19,000 feet — nearly four miles — of the system’s 12-mile-long transmission main, which carries both raw and treated water. The water line was originally installed in 1948 and has been prone to breaks over the last two years.

Making the upgrades is also key to providing adequate water and fire protection services to residents, according to the release.

In addition to the pipe’s age, some sections have become inaccessible to maintenance because of changes in Department of Transportation roads, Water District Superintendent Mike Corson said in January.

He said that the project would probably result in a rate increase for users sometime in the next few years to repay the loan, with interest.

Water district users pay $72.55 per quarter for 1,200 cubic feet of water, the average amount used by a two-person household, Corson has said. After that, the cost of water is $2.17 per 100 cubic feet of water.

“It’s really an old style (of pipe) and isn’t very durable compared to the modern technology of making pipe,” he said. “Over the past few years we’ve started to see more breaks on this pipe, and we feel it is reaching its age limit.”

Payments on the loan could be deferred for up to one year after the project is finished, and construction would take about one to two years. The water district is hoping to put the project out to bid in the spring and start construction shortly afterward.

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