OXFORD — The Oxford Water District has received a $500,000 loan as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s effort to update and rebuild rural water infrastructure.

According to a written statement from to Anne Hazlett, assistant secretary for Rural Development, “USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building their futures.”

She said, “all people — regardless of their zip code — need modern, reliable infrastructure to thrive, and we have found that when we address this need, many other challenges in rural places become much more manageable.”

The Oxford Water District will receive $500,000 to add a 15-horsepower well pump and an aeration system.

The district also will modify the well pump and interior/exterior piping, make electrical upgrades, and add integration controls to reduce acidity levels. These upgrades will help reduce corrosiveness, decrease lead and copper levels, and provide for redundancy in the event of extended power outages.

According to the written statement, the money will help the district provide safe clean drinking water to its 398 users.

The funding is being provided through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program, available to rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said in a statement, “USDA Rural Development is a major partner in ensuring that Maine’s rural communities have access to clean drinking water and properly working wastewater infrastructure. I am pleased that we could assist Oxford Water District with key upgrades to its infrastructure, helping it to continue to provide reliable quality drinking water for the community.”