The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded $216,000 in Small Community Engineering Assistance Program grants to five communities to evaluate their wastewater systems.

The grant offers funding to qualifying communities to help cover engineering costs for evaluating wastewater system improvements, according to the Missouri DNR on Tuesday.

The department awarded — Mendon $32,000, New Florence $50,000, Rockaway Beach $40,000, Seneca $44,000 and Wheaton $50,000 — to identify necessary improvements to reduce inflow and infiltration of stormwater into sewer collection pipes.

Mendon will also evaluate wastewater facility upgrades to provide reliable treatment of wastewater. Engineering reports funded through the grant will be complete within the next two years, according to the Missouri DNR.

“Every citizen and every community deserves clean water,” said Ed Galbraith, director of the department’s Division of Environmental Quality. “These grants help communities identify improvements to protect our water while keeping utility rates affordable.”

The Missouri DNR provides funding opportunities for communities with water quality, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure needs through its Financial Assistance Center. For more information about wastewater and drinking water funding opportunities, visit dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/srf/index.html.