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HA8 Homeland Security: Public Source Waters
(555) Navajo Nation Source Water Assessments.
Jollie, J1, Sham, C2, Ward, W2, Pittinger, C2, 1 Office of Water, U.S. EPA, Washington, D.C.2 The Cadmus Group, Inc., Boston, MA
ABSTRACT- The Navajo Nation, located near the Four Corners Area of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado, is one of the largest Native American Tribes in the United States. In response to the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsored a series of source water assessments (SWAs), in cooperation with the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency and the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. The SWAs focused on 82 public water systems to better ensure safe drinking water supplies on the Reservation. The Cadmus Group, Inc. and Tetra Tech EM, Inc. completed the SWAs in 2001 and 2002, under contract to EPA Region 9. The SWAs included: comprehensive evaluations of existing data for all public water supply wells; source area delineations and mapping; review of standard environmental databases; identification of exceedances of drinking water standards; and site inspections to locate known contaminant sources and identify previously unidentified sources. Relative susceptibility determinations were completed using a risk ranking methodology to identify drinking water sources most vulnerable to contamination. The risk evaluations were based on identified sources, potential contaminant type and concentration, proximity to drinking water sources, natural barriers affecting potential contaminant fate and transport, intake or well integrity, and historical water quality data and drinking water standard exceedances. A report of results was prepared and submitted to the Navajo Nation to provide the basis for the development of source water management and protection strategies.
Key words: public water systems, source water assessment, Navajo Nation
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