Pollution Prevention Division


Yurok Tribe
Klamath Office
15900 Hwy 101 N
PO Box 1027
Klamath, CA 95548

Source Water Assessment and Protection


* SWAP FY13 Susceptibility Analysis (click to download PDF)

The Yurok Indian Reservation is one of the largest reservations in the state of California. The reservation relies upon its numerous water systems from both groundwater and surface water sources to provide drinking water to its diverse and sparsely populated people of the Klamath River. Although a few source systems are known, a comprehensive inventory and analysis of all source water systems has never been conducted.

The Yurok Tribe Environmental Program (YTEP) is currently conducting a Source Water Assessment of all tribal drinking waters. A Source Water Assessment is both a study and report, and is unique to a source water system that provides information about the water used to provide drinking water. The assessment allows the ability to identify protection measures to address potential threats to sources of drinking water, because there a number of threats to drinking water: improperly disposed of chemicals; animal wastes; pesticides; human wastes; wastes injected deep underground; and naturally-occurring substances can all contaminate drinking water. Likewise, drinking water that is not properly treated or disinfected, or which travels through an improperly maintained distribution system, may also pose a significant health risk.

The assessment began with an initial project review, followed by site reconnaissance and field data collection, and a series of random interviews with local-area residents about their drinking water. Information is being inputted into a geographic information system for mapping and analysis, and used in hydrogeologic modeling to delineate source water protection areas throughout the reservation, which will aid in assessing and preventing future impacts to Yurok tribal drinking water.

Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans' drinking water. Under SDWA, the US Environmental Protection Agency sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, tribes, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.

The SDWA was originally passed in 1974 by Congress to protect public health by regulating the nation's public drinking water supply. The law was amended in 1986, and later in 1996, requiring states to develop and implement Source Water Assessment Programs (SWAPs) to analyze existing and potential threats to the quality of the public drinking water throughout the state.

For additional information contact:

Bill Patterson, Assistant Director

Pollution Prevention Division
Yurok Tribe Environmental Program
PO Box 1027
Klamath, California 95548

707-482-1822 x1001 - Office
707-482-1722 - Fax

707-954-1865 - Cell




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