(a) For the purposes of this article, “small community” means a municipality with a population of 20,000 persons or less, a rural county, or a reasonably isolated and divisible segment of a larger municipality where the segment of the population is 20,000 persons or less, with a financial hardship, as determined by the board.
(b) The board may award grants under this article to assist small communities in meeting water pollution control requirements.
(c) The board may award grants under this article to projects that meet the definition of “eligible project” in Section 79120 of the Water Code.
(d) The board shall give priority to both of the following types of projects:
(1) Projects to install or replace sewer systems in communities that lack adequate sewers.
(2) Projects to assist communities with population growth pressures, to assist in the redesign and expansion of existing wastewater collection and treatment systems.