WINNER, S.D. (AP) - The Tripp County Water User District in southern South Dakota is applying for $11.5 million in grants and loans from the federal Agriculture Department for an expansion project.

The Daily Republic reports officials hope to start the $11.7 million project next spring and complete it in the fall of 2015.

The district decided on the expansion and upgrade after distributing a record amount of water during last year's drought. District Manager Russ Phillips says the upgraded system will maintain an adequate water flow and pressure during drought by adding 120 miles of pipeline, installing 10 pump systems and constructing new water towers in Burke and Fairfax.

The district currently has 2,000 miles of pipeline and serves 2,300 customers in Tripp, Gregory, Lyman, Mellette and Todd counties.

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