The American Rescue Plan Act — the relief bill that President Joe Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021 — set aside $350 billion to assist states, tribes, territories, and local governments in responding to financial challenges wrought by the pandemic. Water infrastructure improvements like the ones that Iberia Parish Sewerage District No. 1 will make are one of four broad spending categories authorized by the act.
Since ARPA became law nearly a year ago, government agencies have been determining how to divide their share of the pie. Many are putting — or are planning to put — significant resources into their water systems, a cash infusion meant to revitalize aging pipes and treatment facilities.

Funding is not just going to large, multimillion-dollar projects. Maine dedicated $102,968 to provide free well water testing for low-income households. Oregon put $500,000 toward building fish bypasses at dams.
Even within Montana’s large water and sewer allotment there are small recipients. Kevin Flynn is the water plant operator for Eureka, a northwestern Montana town of about 1,400 people just south of the Canadian border. Eureka received a grant of $247,056 that will cover just under half the cost of replacing a 50-year-old water main in town.