Annual Drinking Water Quality Report – Cherokee

by Jun 24, 2010NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

For 2009

Cherokee Water System

We’re very pleased to provide you with this year’s Annual Water Quality Report. We want to keep you informed about the excellent water and services we have delivered to you over the past year. Our goal is and always has been, to provide to you a safe and dependable supply of drinking water. Our water source is the Oconaluftee River.  We are pleased to report that our drinking water is safe and meets all federal requirements. 


If you have any questions about this report or the source water assessment that has been completed concerning your water utility, or want to obtain a copy of this report, please contact the water plant supervisor, Sheila Hyatt at 828-554-6750. We want our valued customers to be informed about their water utility. If you want to learn more, please call Mary Wolfe Lambert at 828-497-1823 to find out when the Cherokee Tribal Utilities Board has its next meeting.


The Cherokee Water System routinely monitors for contaminants in your drinking water according to Federal laws. This table shows the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009.


The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells.  As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include: 

Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.


Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.


Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.


Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also, come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.


Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health. All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.  The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.


Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

The following definitions are provided to help you better understand the terms used in the table below.

Not Applicable (NA) – Does not apply

Parts per million (ppm) or Milligrams per liter (mg/l) – one part per million corresponds to one minute in two years or a single penny in $10,000.

Parts per billion (ppb) or Micrograms per liter – one part per billion corresponds to one minute in 2,000 years, or a single penny in $10,000,000.

Action Level (AL) – the concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) The  level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water.  MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

Picocuries per liter (pCi/l) – a measure of radioactivity.

Treatment Technique (TT) – a required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Turbidity (NTU) – the measurement of the cloudiness of water.



Unit of Measurement





Range MCLG MCL Date of Sample Likely Source




Turbidity (NTU)

NO 0.26 NTU high 100% of the time NA TT 06/23/09



4 hrs.

   Soil runoff
  Radiological Contaminants
Beta  (pCi/l) NO 2.23 0 50* n/a     Erosion of natural deposits
  Inorganic Contaminants
Barium  (ppm) NO  



NA 2 2 n/a Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits.
Copper (tap water)   (ppm) NO 0.050 is the 90th percentile

None of the sites exceeded the AL

1.3 AL=1.3 n/a Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits; leaching from wood preservatives.
Lead  (ppb) NO 3.0 is the 90th percentile

None of the sites exceeded the AL

0 AL=15 n/a Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosion of natural deposits.

TTHMs    (ppm)

Total Trihalomethanes

NO 0.028 0.000 – 0.080


NA 0.080  


By-product of drinking water



HAAs      (ppm)

Haloacetic Acids  

NO 0.027 0.000 – 0.060


NA 0.060  


By-product of drinking water



* The MCL for beta particles is 4 mrem/year. EPA considers 50 pCi/l to be the level of concern for beta particles.


In our continuing efforts to maintain a safe and dependable water supply it may be necessary to make improvements in your water system. The costs of these improvements may be reflected in the rate structure. Rate adjustments may be necessary in order to address these improvements.

We at the Cherokee Water System work hard to provide top quality water to every tap and are committed to quality. We ask that all our customers help us protect our water source, which is the heart of our community, our way of life and our children’s future.

 Source:  Cherokee Water Treatment