July 28, 2023

Whitehouse, Reed & Magaziner Announce $915,000 for Wastewater Management Upgrades

North Kingstown and Glocester net federal SNEP grants for environmentally-friendly water and wastewater management improvements

WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed and Congressman Seth Magaziner today announced that two Rhode Island municipalities are receiving a total of $915,000 in federal funding to upgrade wastewater management systems, decrease pollution, and boost drinking water quality.

These two federal grants for the towns of Glocester and North Kingston are funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Southeast New England Program (SNEP).

Glocester will receive $465,000 to support installation of innovative septic system upgrades and incentivize installments with financial assistance for residents in Chepachet Village.  These upgrades will help boost the quality of drinking water and surface water in Chepachet and downstream communities.

North Kingstown will receive $450,000 to improve decentralized wastewater treatment systems in the town’s coastal neighborhoods and reduce pollution that seeps from outdated systems and runs into Narragansett Bay. These funds will be used to help identify homeowners that wish to upgrade outdated systems and will support the design and installment of modern replacement septic systems.

“Investing in wastewater infrastructure has positive effects on health and the environment,” saidSenator Whitehouse.  “I am pleased to help secure federal funding that will result in cleaner drinking water and a cleaner Narragansett Bay.”

“This federal funding is an important investment in public health and safeguarding the environment. By improving wastewater treatment, we are reducing the pollutants that enter our waterways from outdated systems and flow into Narragansett Bay and helping to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have access to reliable clean water,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who spearheaded the creation of the Southeast New England Program.

“Clean water is essential for Rhode Island’s economy and quality of life,” said Representative Seth Magaziner. “This federal funding will help replace aging wastewater systems to ensure that North Kingstown and Glocester have access to clean water, benefiting the health of people in those communities and across our state.”

“These grants, which are provided through the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will directly empower the communities of Glocester and North Kingstown to enhance their decentralized wastewater infrastructure,” said EPA Regional Administrator, Dr. David W. Cash. “Decentralized, or septic, systems are a critical piece of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure and their proper management, financing, and in many cases, upgrade to alternative nitrogen reducing systems will be key to combatting the nutrient issues we see in our coastal waters.”

“Chepachet Village, the civic, economic and historic center of the Town of Glocester, lacks public water and sewer infrastructure,” said Will Worthy, President, Glocester Town Council.  “Many existing structures are situated on small lots that cannot effectively accommodate drinking water wells and onsite wastewater systems. The major deterrent to increased private investment in the Village is tied to infrastructure limitations. The incentivized, decentralized approach to wastewater management funded through this grant will result in transformational change to the surface water quality of Chepachet River, the drinking water quality in Chepachet Village and the economic vitality of the overall business community.”

“With this funding, we are eager to implement innovative solutions to help homeowners and our community meaningfully reduce nitrogen, common in conventional septic systems and an ever-present threat to our coastal waters,” said A. Ralph Mollis, Town Manager of the Town of North Kingstown. “The ability for us to provide financial assistance to eligible homeowners as a result of SNEP RI Decentralized Wastewater Improvement Grant funding will give homeowners relief from a significant portion of the cost burden associated with upgrading or replacing a residential septic system.” Mollis continued: “With improved decentralized systems in place, North Kingstown will be more resilient to the expected impacts of climate change, and the water-based economics and recreation at the heart of our community will be protected for years to come.”

In addition to decreasing pollution and improving water quality, these grants with help Glocester and North Kingstown conduct outreach and educational programs to engage the community around the need for wastewater management system upgrades.  Furthermore, this SNEP grant funding will help homeowners manage the costs of replacing their outdated systems with new, innovative systems.

The Southeast New England Program is a regional initiative, funded by Congress and managed by the EPA, working to preserve and restore coastal waters by providing grants and technical assistance to communities, local organizations and partnerships throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921