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|Ponemah Annual Drinking Water Report|
|Is my drinking water safe?
We are pleased to present the 2010 Annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SWDA). This report is designed to provide details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies. This report will give you even more information about the safety of your water supply. Please read on for additional information because 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-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, 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. EPA/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from Safe Water Drinking Hotline (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 soil and rocks. Our tribe has several wells located within close proximity of the Pump House, which pump this water back to the surface of the Earth so that we may drink it.
Source water assessment and its availability
The tribe is currently working with the US Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a source water assessment. This assessment consists of identifying the area(s) around the well(s), which need to be protected from contamination, identifying potential sources of contamination, and determining the susceptibility of the wells to contamination. When the assessment is complete, we will make the results available to you. Because the water we drink comes from underground wells, we need to be careful with how we dispose of harmful contaminants. This assessment will give us the information we need as a tribal community to make sure our drinking water is safe now and in the future. In contacting the Environmental staff at Red Lake Department of Natural Resources, the Source Water Assessment has been endorsed by the US EPA on August 15, 2005. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Red Lake Department of Natural Resources at 218-679-3959.
Why are there contaminants in my drinking water?
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least 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 Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (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, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity;
Microbial Contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife; Inorganic Contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial, or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming;
Pesticides and Herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
Organic Chemical Contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can, also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.
Radioactive Contaminants, which 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 which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health.
Monitoring and reporting of compliance data violation
Our system violated two drinking water standards over the past year. Even though these were not emergencies, as our customers, you have the right to know what happened and what we did to correct these situations.
We are required to monitor your drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular basis. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not our drinking water meets health standards. During 2008-2010 compliance periods, we did not monitor or test for IOCs and Total Coli form and therefore cannot be sure of the quality of our drinking water during that time.
What should I do?
There is nothing you need to do at this time. The table below lists the contaminant(s) we did not properly test for during the past year.
|What happened? What is being done?
Our previous director past away unexpectedly and the Inorganic testing was not completed. The US EPA notified us of this discrepancy by mail and the testing was completed as soon as the notification was received and there have been no detection violations.
The total coli form testing was not completed on time due to scheduling conflicts between the tester and the lab that completes the actual coli form test. Results showed no violation. For more information, please contact Donald May at 218-679-3377.
IOCs, also known as, inorganic compounds, are tested by collecting one sample and testing that sample for all the IOCs, with exception of Asbestos. IOCs are commonly used in industrial activities. IOCs include; Antimony, Asbestos, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Cyanide, Fluoride, Mercury, Nickel, Selenium, and Thallium.
Total Coli Form includes bacteria that are found in the soil, in water that has been influenced by surface water, and in human and animal waste.
Additional Information for Lead
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Red Lake Sanitation Department is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.
Terms and abbreviations used below:
MCLG: Maximum Contaminant level Goal: The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health, MCLG’s allow for a margin of safety.
MCL: Maximum Contaminant Level: The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCL’s are set as close to the MCLG’s as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
TT: Treatment Technique: A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
AL: Action Level: The concentration of a contaminant, which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements, which a water system must follow.
Variances and Exemptions: State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a treatment technique under certain conditions.
MRDLG: Maximum residual disinfection level goal. The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
MRDL: Maximum residual disinfectant level. The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
MNR: Monitored Not Regulated
MPL: State Assigned Maximum Permissible Level
ppm: parts per million, or milligrams per liter (mg/l)
ppb: parts per billion, or micrograms per liter (ug/l)
PCi/l: Pico curies per liter (a measure of radioactivity)
For More Information Contact: Donald J. May Jr., Director
Red Lake Sanitation Department
P.O. Box 591
Red Lake, MN 56671-0591
Water Quality Data Table
The table below lists all of the drinking water contaminants that we detected during the calendar year of this report. The presence of contaminants in the water does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. Unless otherwise noted, the data presented in this table is from testing done in the calendar year of the report. The EPA or the State requires us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently. Some of the data representative of the water quality may be more than one year old.