Is my water safe?
We are pleased to present this year's Annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). 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 is a snapshot of last year's water quality. We are committed to providing you with 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. Immuno-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 the Safe Water Drinking Hotline (800-426-4791).
Where does my water come from?
Metlakatla obtains its water from the 80-acre Chester Lake that contains approximately 4,180 acre-feet of usable storage, considered surface water. Water from the Chester Lake Reservoir flows through a pen stock to the water treatment plant.
Source water assessment and its availability
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 (EPA) 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, that 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 stormwater 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 stormwater 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 stormwater runoff, and septic systems; and 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 that 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.
How can I get involved?
Contact your water system.
Description of Water Treatment Process
Your water is treated in a "treatment train" (a series of processes applied in a sequence) that includes coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. Coagulation removes dirt and other particles suspended in the source water by adding chemicals (coagulants) to form tiny sticky particles called "floc," which attract the dirt particles. Flocculation (the formation of larger floes from smaller floes) is achieved using gentle, constant mixing. The heavy particles settle naturally out of the water in a sedimentation basin. The clear water then moves to the filtration process where the water passes through sand, gravel, charcoal or other filters that remove even smaller particles. A small amount of chlorine or other disinfection method is used to kill bacteria and other microorganisms (viruses, cysts, etc.) that may be in the water before water is stored and distributed to homes and businesses in the community.
Water Conservation Tips
Did you know that the average U.S. household uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day or 100 gallons per person per day? Luckily, there are many low-cost and no-cost ways to conserve water. Small changes can make a big difference - try one today and soon it will become second nature.
• Take short showers - a 5-minute shower uses 4 to 5 gallons of water compared to up to 50 gallons for a bath
• Shut off water while brushing your teeth, washing your hair and shaving and save up to 500 gallons a month.
• Use a water-efficient showerhead. They're inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
• Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
• Water plants only when necessary.
• Fix leaky toilets and faucets. Faucet washers are inexpensive and take only a few minutes to replace. To check your toilet for a leak, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it or replacing it with a new, more efficient model can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
• Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered. Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it and during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation.
• Teach your kids about water conservation to ensure a future generation that uses water wisely. Make it a family effort to reduce next month's water bill!
• Visit www.epa.gov/watersense for more information.
Cross Connection Control Survey
The purpose of this survey is to determine whether a cross-connection may exist at your home or business. A cross connection is an unprotected or improper connection to a public water distribution system that may cause contamination or pollution to enter the system. We are responsible for enforcing cross-connection control regulations and insuring that no contaminants can, under any flow conditions, enter the distribution system. If you have any of the devices listed below please contact us so that we can discuss the issue, and if needed, survey your connection and assist you in isolating it if that is necessary.
• Boiler/ Radiant heater (water heaters not included)
• Underground lawn sprinkler system
• Pool or hot tub (whirlpool tubs not included)
• Additional source( s) of water on the property
• Decorative pond
• Watering trough
Source Water Protection Tips
Protection of drinking water is everyone's responsibility. You can help protect your community's drinking water source in several ways:
• Eliminate excess use of lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides - they contain
hazardous chemicals that can reach your drinking water source.
• Pick up after your pets.
• If you have your own septic system, properly maintain your system to reduce leaching to water sources or consider connecting to a public water system.
• Dispose of chemicals properly; take used motor oil to a recycling center.
• Volunteer in your community. Find a watershed or wellhead protection organization in your community and volunteer to help. If there are no active groups, consider starting one. Use EPA's Adopt Your Watershed to locate groups in your community, or visit the Watershed Information Network's How to Start a Watershed Team.
• Organize a storm drain stenciling project with your local government or water supplier. Stencil a message next to the street drain reminding people "Dump No Waste - Drains to River" or "Protect Your Water." Produce and distribute a flyer for households to remind residents that storm drains dump directly into your local water body.
The operator is not certified for surface water treatment.
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. Metlakatla Indian Community 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.
Water Quality Data Table
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The table below lists all of the drinking water contaminants that we detected during the calendar year of this report. Although many more contaminants were tested, only those substances listed below were found in your water. All sources of drinking water contain some naturally occurring contaminants. At low levels, these substances are generally not harmful in our drinking water. Removing all
contaminants would be extremely expensive, and in most cases, would not provide increased protection of public health. A few naturally occurring minerals may actually improve the taste of drinking water and have nutritional value at low levels. 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 vary significantly from year to year, or the system is not considered vulnerable to this type of contamination. As such, some of our data, though representative, may be more than one year old. In this table you will find terms and abbreviations that might not be familiar to you. To help you better understand these terms, we have provided the definitions below the table.