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
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
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
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.
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
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.