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SRPMIC's Water Quality Program Fact Sheet

In July, O’odham Action News profiled the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources (EPNR) Division and its Water Quality Program in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. EPNR is under the SRPMIC Community Development Department.

The program offered more information in the following fact sheet.

Who samples surface water on the SRPMIC?

The Community’s two rivers are sampled by the EPNR. There are four sampling sites located along the Verde and Salt rivers from which samples are collected seven times per year. Sample data is compared against water-quality standards to ensure compliance, which is important in protecting both humans and aquatic wildlife. Major surface-water issues are communicated to the public through signage, the CDD-EPNR webpage, e-mail, social media and Community postings.

Standing water on the Community that could be breeding areas for mosquitoes is managed by the SRPMIC Health & Human Services Department (HHS). Mosquitoes are eradicated through the application of larvicide.

Who samples drinking water on the SRPMIC?

Sampling for drinking water is done by the Public Works Department (PW), which is responsible for compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). PW is dedicated to providing safe drinking water through the tap and works directly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to correct violations of the standards set by the SDWA. CDD-EPNR provides technical guidance and compliance assistance to PW if needed. PW provides public notifications and follow-up on any residential tap-water issues.

Who samples groundwater on the SRPMIC?

There are three types of wells on the SRPMIC: (1) irrigation wells, which are maintained by PW; (2) drinking-water wells, which are maintained by PW; and (3) monitoring wells, which are mostly maintained by CDD-EPNR. These wells are tested at various times, and CDD-EPNR assesses the state of groundwater quality for the entire Community.

Is water in the canals and ditches sampled?

The Central Arizona Project (CAP) Canal and the Arizona Canal both run through the Community. These are maintained by outside utilities and supply irrigation water to farmers. The irrigation delivery systems are operated and maintained by PW.

CDD-EPNR samples irrigation outflows that drain into the Salt River at two locations: the Cottonwood Wetland, located in the Salt River District, and the Lehi Wetland, located in the Lehi District. CDD-EPNR samples directly from irrigation ditches for special projects only.

For more information