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Water supply information tapped and flowing in annual report

Observer Staff

7/5/2005 12:00:00 AM

Is my water safe?

During 2004, your tap water met all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water safety standards. Your Tribal employees vigilantly safeguard your water and supplies. We are proud to report that your water system had no violations of maximum contaminant levels or any other drinking water quality standards this past year. This report will give you even more information about the safety of your water supply. Please read on for additional information. Informed customers are our best allies.

Do I need to take special precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immune-comprised persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. The EPA/Centers of Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.

Where does my water come from?

Your Tribal water supply originates as water beneath the surface of the earth. This is called groundwater. Groundwater is naturally filtered as it travels through rocks and soil. Our Tribe has three wells. Well No. 3 is located south of Little Elk, west of Shepherd Road. Well No. 4 is located west of Shepherd Road, east of Sweetgrass and Well No. 5 is located north of Remus Road and west of Seventh Generation.

The water softening plant was put into operation on April 5, 2000. Please consider not using your home water softener for the following reasons-your water will have an increase in the sodium (salt) content and your water could become corrosive. The plant was designed and is operated to provide the Tribal homes and businesses with water that is balanced and softened. Resoftening can create a tinny taste and cause you to use extra water to remove soap residues. The water plants does add fluoride to the water. If you have an aquarium with tropical fish, check with your local pet store for proper treatment of the water to avoid harmful effects on your fish.

Source water assessment and its availability

The Tribe has worked with the EPA to conduct a source water assessment. This assessment consists of identifying the area(s) around the well(s) which need to be protected from contaminations, identifying potential sources of contamination and determining the susceptibility of the wells to contamination. The assessment also gives us information we need as a Tribal community to make sure our drinking water is safe now and in the future. We have a copy available at the water plant for review to anyone who wishes to read it.

Vulnerability study and emergency response plan

We are required to do a vulnerability study and file it with the EPA. This has been completed, as well as the emergency response plan. These are available for review at the water plant.

Wellhead protection

Because the water we drink comes from underground wells, we all need to be careful how we dispose of harmful contaminants. This means not dumping used oil or solvents onto the ground. They must be taken to a recycle center or other facility to dispose of them.

Why are contaminants in drinking water?

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at lest small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.

The sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and in some cases, radioactive material. It can also pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity.

Microbial contaminants, such as viruses an bacteria, may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife. Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming. Organic chemical contaminants-including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals-are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, can also come from gas stations, urban storm runoff and septic systems. Radioactive contaminants can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

In order to ensure that the tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water that is provided by a public water system.

How can I become involved in the safety of my drinking water?

If you would like to become involved with your water safety, please call us at (989) 772-8810.

Source water assessment and its availability

The Tribe has worked with the U.S. EPA to conduct a source water assessment. This assessment consists of identifying the area(s) around the well(s), which need to be protected from contaminents, identifying potential sources of contamination and determining the susceptibility of the wells to contamination. The assessment also gives us information we need as a Tribal community to make sure our drinking water is safe now and in the future. We hve a copy of this assessment available at the water plant for review to anyone who wishes to read it.

Vulnerability study and Emergency Response Plan

We are required to do a vulnerability study and file it with the EPA. This has been completed, as well as the Emergency Response Plan. These are available for review at the water plant.

Wellhead protection

Because the water we drink comes from the underground wells, we all need to be careful how we dispose of harmful contaminants. This means not dumping used oil or solvents onto the ground. They must be taken to a recycling center or other facility to be disposed of properly.