Spirit Lake Water Confirmed Safe

Media Contact: Dani Fettig, (701) 221-1213
Arden Freitag, (701) 221-1250

For Release: September 26, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Reclamation, in conjunction with the Spirit Lake Water Resources Office, has confirmed the safety of water in the Spirit Lake system.

Recently, residents connected to the system expressed concern about the appearance of their tap water. Although there is no risk to human health, and the problem reoccurs infrequently, adjustments are being made to address residents' concerns.

"The staff is adjusting the treatment process to more effectively remove mineral residue from the water system," said Arden Freitag, Rural Water Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation.

"We continue to make improvements to address the concerns of water users, but the water system has consistently maintained compliance with all local, State and Federal water quality requirements," said Freitag.

The problem resulted because a new water treatment plant was recently constructed which results in different water characteristics than the system had before. In addition, the existing distribution system has transported water from three original wells for twenty years, resulting in mineral deposits building up throughout the system. Recently, new wells were integrated into the system, resulting in mineral deposits within the pipeline being dissolved and temporarily impacting the appearance of users' tap water.

As more water is produced from the new water treatment plant and the operations of that plant are perfected, the impact on the tap water's appearance will lessen over time. The Spirit Lake Nation Water Resources staff has also increased flushing to shorten the amount of time needed to clear out dissolved minerals from the water system.

More information is available at www.usbr.gov/gp/dkao or from the Water Resources office at 701-766-1209.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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