BISMARCK -- The findings upheld that North Dakota’s public water systems maintained an excellent Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) compliance record, with 99% of public water systems meeting all health-based standards. All community water systems have undergone a sanitary survey within the past three years, according to the report.

In 2020, the department issued certificates of compliance to 285 public water systems.

“The purpose of the annual report is to improve consumer awareness of drinking water compliance issues,” said Greg Wavra, administrator of the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality’s Drinking Water Program.

The report includes all SDWA violations incurred in North Dakota in 2020 and lists violations recorded in 2021 based on 2020 monitoring data. According to the NDDEQ, consumers should have been informed of these violations by their water suppliers.

“It’s important to understand that most violations referred to in the 2020 report have been resolved,” Wavra said. “It is a significant challenge for public water systems and states to meet the ever-increasing number of requirements of the SDWA.”

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A Public Water System is defined as a system that provides water via piping or other constructed conveyances for human consumption to at least 15 service connections or serves an average of at least 25 people for at least 60 days each year. There are three types of PWSs.

PWSs can be community, which includes municipalities; nontransient and noncommunity, which includes schools or factories; and transient noncommunity systems, such as rest stops or state parks.

In North Dakota in 2020, 315 systems were classified as Community Water Systems, seven as nontransient and noncommunity Water Systems and 69 as Transient Noncommunity Water Systems for a total of 391 PWS's.

During 2020, a total of 92 major drinking water violations were issued by the NDDEQ. A total of 47 out of 391 systems incurred these violations in North Dakota. The Environmental Protection Agency requires the reporting of these major drinking water violations in the Annual Compliance Report.

In addition to the major violations, the State of North Dakota also issued four minor drinking water violations and four nonclassified consumer notice certification violations during 2020.

While EPA does not require the reporting of these minor and nonclassified drinking water violations in the Annual Compliance Report, the state of North Dakota does include them throughout.

Violations

  • Ransom County's Grant Colony failed to monitor and report violations in accordance with regulations.

  • Williams County's R&R Trailer Court violated arsenic maximum contaminant levels.
  • McKenzie County's Sandstone Development was issued a violation for failure to monitor contaminates.

  • Dickey County's city of Forbes failed to perform initial tap sampling for lead and copper.
  • McLean County's city of Coleharbor failed to provide lead consumer notice certification.

  • Bottineau County's city of Maxbass failed to provide lead consumer notice certification.

  • Morton County's Riverview Heights failed to provide lead consumer notice certification.

  • Sioux County's city of Solen railed to provide lead consumer notice certification.

  • Bottineau County's city of Maxbass failed to perform corrective and expedited actions for level 1 or 2 assessments.

  • Failure to monitor microbiological violations: Almont, Arnegard, Bisbee, Crary, Emerado, Forbes, Grandin, Grenora, Maple River Hutterian Assoc., McClusky, Milton, Oberon, Oriska, R & R Trailer Court in Williams County, Riverview Heights in Morton County, Robinson, Selfridge, St. Thomas, Sykeston, Tolna and Walhalla.

  • Failure to monitor and report major violation for Chloramine: Almont, Arnegard, East Central Regional WD in Grand Forks, Forbes, Milton, New Leipzig, Riverview Heights in Morton County, Solen, St. Thomas and Sykeston.

  • Failure to monitor and report major violations for Chlorine: Badlands Development Long X TC in McKenzie County, Bisbee, Brooktree Wells Inc. in Cass County, Crary, Emerado, Grandin, Grenora, McClusky, Milton, Oberon, Oriska, Robinson, Tolna and Walhalla.

To obtain a copy of the 2020 Drinking Water Compliance Report, write to the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Municipal Facilities, 918 E Divide Ave, Bismarck, ND 58501-1947; or call 701-328-5211. The report also may be viewed on the department’s website at https://deq.nd.gov/MF/. Click on DWP Publications under Drinking Water Program.