Domestic well water quality within tribal lands of eastern Nebraska
Recent surveys of Native Americans suggest that individuals living on reservations may be at greater environmental/health risk than the population at large due to water-quality problems. Despite these surveys, no comprehensive study of environmental conditions within Native American lands as a whole has been undertaken. This study compares water-quality data from two reservations in eastern Nebraska, the Omaha and the Santee Sioux Reservations, with existing regional, state, and national datasets to determine if differences exist between reservation and non-reservation groundwater quality. An area of concern within both reservations is the high percentage of domestic wells containing coliform bacteria and exceeding the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) for nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N). It appears that the presence of these contaminants may be linked to factors such as well construction, maintenance, and land use patterns in the immediate vicinity of the wells rather than agricultural non-point source pollution.
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