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Waste Water Treatment Annual Drinking Water Report

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Annual Drinking Water Report

This report is addressed to the local Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribal community. The information presented below provides information about the safety of your local tribal water supply. If you — as a tribal member — have asked yourself the following questions, we will try to provide the best answers. We believe informed customers are our best allies.

Is my water safe?

During 1998, tribal tap water met all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water safety standards. Our tribe vigilantly safeguards its water supplies. We are proud to report that our water system did not exceed established safe contaminant levels and met all other drinking water quality standards during 1998.

Do I need to take special precautions?

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

Where does my water come from?

Your tribal water supply originates underground and is called groundwater. Groundwater is naturally filtered as it travels through soil and rocks. Our tribe has four wells. Well #1 is located west of Nish-Na-Be-Anong. Well #2 is located north of Broadway. Well #3 is located south of Little Elk and west of Shepherd Road. Well #4 is located west of Shepherd Road and east of Sweet Grass. All four wells pump the groundwater back to the surface so we may drink it.

Can groundwater become contaminated from the surface?

Yes. Because the water we drink comes from underground wells, we need to be careful with how we dispose of harmful contaminants at the surface. The tribe is currently working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a source water assessment. This assessment consists of identifying areas around the wells that need to be protected from surface contamination, identifying potential sources of contamination, and determining how susceptible the wells are to contamination. We will make the results available to you when the assessment is complete. This assessment will give us information we need as a tribal community to insure our drinking water is safe now and in the future.

Why are there any contaminants in my drinking water?

Drinking water, including bottled water, may be reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. Once again, you may want to call the Safe Water Hotline mentioned above for more detailed information (800-426-4791).

The sources of drinking water -- both tap water 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 from human activity. These include:

• Microbial Contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria. These may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

• Inorganic contaminants such as salts and metals. These can be naturally-occurring or the result of 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. These can be byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.

• Radioactive Contaminants. These can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

• In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations limiting the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.