The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency order about the drinking water in Elk Creek. 

The EPA has ordered the Grindstone Indian Rancheria in Elk Creek to provide alternative drinking water, disinfect the system’s water and monster the water for contamination, according to the press release.

The Grindstone Indian Rancheria Public Water System serves approximately 150 residents. The system uses water from Stony Creek, which has numerous potential contaminants from agricultural, municipal and industrial operations, according to the press release. 

The EPA found the system was not complying with a 2017 drinking water order by not properly disinfecting the system’s water and not employing a certified drinking water operator. 

“EPA is committed to protecting public health and ensuring that steps are taken to provide Grindstone Indian Rancher’s residents with safe and clean drinking water,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker in the press release. “This order requires measures to ensure compliance with important laws that help protect communities.”

The order requires Grindstone Indian Rancheria Public Water System to:

  • Provide at least one gallon of water per person per day for every individual served by the system.
  • Immediately procure and continuously use National Sanitation Foundation International certified and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act registered approved chlorine disinfectant.
  • Employ a qualified drinking water operator.
  • Adequately fund the system’s operations.
  • Issue a boil water notice to all customers.
  • Properly monitor the system’s water and report findings to the EPA.

According to the press release, failure to comply with the EPA’s order could result in penalties levied against the Grindstone Indian Rancheria Public Water System of up to $23,963 per day. 

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