Newsletter #38 for March 2017
View this email in your browser

Native Americans in Academia Work to Improve Drinking Water Quality in Indian Country

Water quality issues are an important area of study for researchers concerned with public health on tribal lands. And whether the problem is uranium contamination in Arizona, agricultural pollution in Montana, or widespread drought, there are dedicated tribal academics working on solutions. 

Emery Three Irons, a graduate student in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University and a member of the Apsaalooke tribe, has received a series of awards (the latest from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) to research water quality on Montana’s largest Indian reservation through the Crow Water Quality Project based at Little Big Horn College. The Crow Water Project is working to protect the Crow Reservation community by investigating factors associated with coliform bacteria that contaminates home well water and how that relates to metals contamination. Contact John Doyle or click here to find out more.  

In Arizona, Jani Ingram, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Northern Arizona University and doctoral student Tommy Rock, both members of the Navajo Nation, have investigated uranium levels in tribal drinking water -- information that is critical for the Navajo community because of uranium's impact on human health. In fact, Tommy's research led to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality changing its public notice policy for drinking water violations. Arizona water operators can earn PDH's by reviewing and completing this updated safe drinking water regulation workbook found here

Karletta Chief, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Arizona’s Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, is a hydrologist and Diné (member of the Navajo Nation) and a member of the multi-state, multi-agency Native Waters on Arid Lands team. The project’s main goals are to do research, share knowledge, and consider solutions to improve tribes’ ability to adapt to drought. A yearly Tribal Waters Summit offers a space for stakeholders to share knowledge, and engages tribal communities from across the country. To find out more about the summit or the Native Waters on Arid Lands project, click here.

USEPA WIFIA Loan Program 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering credit assistance for water infrastructure projects under a new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. Projects that the WIFIA program can provide assistance for include: drinking water treatment and distribution projects, wastewater conveyance and treatment projects, enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities, desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling projects, drought prevention, reduction, or mitigation projects. Eligible borrowers are local, state, tribal, and federal government entities, partnerships and joint ventures, corporations and trusts, and Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs.

Prospective borrowers may submit letters of interest from January 10, 2017 until midnight on April 10, 2017. Click here to start the process.

A series of webinars regarding this program can be viewed here

USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

This program helps eligible communities prepare for, or recover from, an emergency that threatens the availability of safe, reliable drinking water for households and businesses. Click here for more information. 

8th Annual USET Tribal Utility Summit

Monday - Thursday, April 17-20 | Miami, Florida
Hosted by United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc.

This year's Tribal Utility Summit on April 17-20 will be hosted by Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. Highlights include contact hours for attendance, water, wastewater and managerial tracks, plant tours, drinking water and water repair contests, and more. The cost will be $125 for participants and $550 for vendors. For more information or to register, click here

Additional Events

Wastewater Lagoons Maintenance and Water Treatment Operations
Wednesday, March 15 | Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hosted by Native American Water Association

The objective of the training shall be to provide participants with continuing knowledge in the operation and maintenance and protection of their community water and wastewater systems. The training provided shall be designed so as to assist the participants with preparing for operator certification and in understanding and meeting their regulatory responsibility under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  | Click here for more information.

Tribal Drinking Water Program Improvement Training
Thursday, March 21 | Atlanta, Georgia
Hosted by The Public Health Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Indian Health Service and National Environmental Health Association

This training opportunity will introduce participants to the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services (EEPHS) and how this framework can be used to help ensure the provision of safe drinking water. The course content is tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities experienced by Tribal drinking water programs. | Click here for more information.

NAWMA Training: Operator Math and MOR's
Thursday, March 23 | Wyandotte, Oklahoma
Hosted by U.S Department of Agriculture, Communities Unlimited, Rural Community Assistance Partnership  

Topics will include: Basic Math for Operators - Review, Calculating Volumes & Chemical Dosages, Overview of Regulations, MOR's - Why & How to Fill Out and other ODEQ forms. Click here for more information.

Intermediate Water Treatment and Water Distribution Test Prep
Monday, April 3 | Barrow, Alaska
Hosted bIlisagvik College

 A review class for operators preparing to take Level 1 – 4 ADEC water treatment or distribution certification exams. | Click here for more information.
Want to find additional training opportunities for operators,
including events in your area?
Search the Training Calendar

Featured Resources

Sampling Guidance for Unknown Contaminants in Drinking Water
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This document provides new guidance to first responders and drinking water utility operators on the collection, storage, and testing of potentially contaminated drinking water when the contaminant is unknown. Click here to view.

Small Water Systems: Simple, Effective Groundwater Treatment for Organic Matter, Arsenic and Manganese
British Columbia Water and Waste Association

This 22-slide presentation provides a discussion of the Nazko Tribal Water Treatment Plant and how they treat their water for arsenic, manganese, and organic matter (TOC). It describes different treatment options and addresses how knowing source water quality will help develop an effective treatment solution. Download here.

Navajo Nation Water Quality Project
Northwestern University Chemistry Department and Groundswell Education Films

The Navajo Nation Water Quality Project is a new website and outreach campaign to make Navajo water quality information easily available and analyzable for the first time online.

Uranium Standards in Drinking Water and Removal Technologies Research at Small Community Water Systems 
U.S. Enivronmental Protection Agency

This 1-hour-and-20-minute video is a recording of a USEPA webinar from February 2, 2016. The first presentation discusses the drinking water standard for uranium, including radionuclide sources, types of radiation, health effects, rule requirements, monitoring requirements, determining compliance, and violations. The second presentation discusses removal of uranium from drinking water, including uranium chemistry, treatment technologies (both the best available technologies and those best for small system compliance), and waste disposal. 

Have a different question?
You can find thousands of helpful resources in our database.
Search the Document Database

In the News

First Nation Enjoys Turning on the Taps after 10 years Without Clean Water
Pic Mobert First Nation got a new water treatment plant last year — but still worries about sustainability.

Native Americans Brace for Impact as EPA Undergoes Changes
Unlike states, Native American communities can’t tax their residents for public works projects. They rely heavily upon EPA grants to maintain water quality standards, create ordinances, manage solid waste, and assess environmental threats. 

Northwest Treaty Tribes: Unpermitted Wells Imperil Nisqually River
Despite rough economic times and slow growth, the number of new unpermitted wells in the Nisqually watershed grew at a steady rate.

U.S. Appeals Court Affirms Tribal Groundwater Rights
An important ruling for water management in the American West: A U.S. Appeals court upheld a decision that California's Agua Calienta Band of Cahuilla Indians has a right to groundwater beneath its reservation. 

Bureau of Indian Affairs Opens New Consultation on Infrastructure
The BIA is moving forward with plans to improve aging dams and outdated irrigation systems.

Unsafe to Drink: Water Treatment Plants Failing on Reserves Across Canada
For every system the government fixes, plenty remain in a shambolic state. A Globe review shows water treatment plants are failing on reserves across Canada—formerly—is a free, grant-funded service to support small community water and wastewater operators with comprehensive resources and information in one easy-to-use place. We also serve the 800+ training, primacy, and technical service organizations, by helping operators get to their information. We aren't buying, selling, or advertising anything. You can call us at 1-866-522-2681 if you need assistance.

Recently at

Featured Video: Community On-Site Options

If you live in a community with a large number of failing septic tanks, you're probably already familiar with the downsides of these systems: the damage to local water quality, the threats to public health. The smell. What you may not know is what you can do about it.

Featured Video: Lead and Copper Sampling

If your customers have an increased interest in getting their water tested---or you'd like a refresher on how lead and copper sampling works yourself---this video from AWWA can be a great place to start. The two-and-a-half minute video briefly outlines the basic provisions of the Lead and Copper Rule, and goes on to discuss the proper technique for collecting lead and copper samples.
Did a friend or colleague forward this email to you? If you liked what you saw in this edition of Tribal Utility News, please consider subscribing to receive it each month in your inbox (you'll also receive weekly water operator news). Also, please thank your friend and forward this message on to a few others!
Copyright © 2017, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or in person at a meeting. 

Our mailing address is:
2204 Griffith Drive
Champaign, IL 61820

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences