INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 29, 2013, 08:42 AM

Red Cross donates bottled water to ND reservation

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. (AP) — The American Red Cross has sent 4,300 bottles of water to the Spirit Lake Reservation after complaints about the drinking water there, though tribal officials say the tap water is safe to drink.

By: Associated Press, Associated Press

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. (AP) — The American Red Cross has sent 4,300 bottles of water to the Spirit Lake Reservation after complaints about the drinking water there, though tribal officials say the tap water is safe to drink.

The reservation in northeastern North Dakota changed its water treatment system in June to meet federal standards for arsenic levels, said Robert Thompson, director of Spirit Lake Water Resource Management.

The water is cleaner than it was before, and officials test the water coming out of the new filters every day, Thompson told The Forum newspaper. Still, there is a slight sheen on the water as manganese is cleaned out of the pipes, and it likely will persist for at least six months, he said.

Tribal officials have been fielding complaints about the water from people across the reservation. Emergency Manager Michael Alex said the tribe sought donations of bottled water to appease those who don't like the taste, smell and look of the water since the adjustments to the system. He and Thompson said they wanted to bring peace of mind to residents who don't want to drink the water coming out of their tap.

The regional division of the American Red Cross responded with a donation of 180 cases of bottled water. It is being made available at the emergency management office in Fort Totten, Alex said.

The tribe also plans to educate residents on the safety of tap water through a public service announcement on a local radio station, Thompson said.

Tags: