CROW AGENCY- The Crow tribe’s largest water system tested positive for fecal matter this spring, and two other systems are out of compliance with federal law, federal environmental officials said in a Thursday report.
In May and the April, the Crow Agency water system, which serves 1,300 residents, tested positive for E.coli contamination, which triggered further testing, additional water treatment or finding a new water source, according to a memo from the U.S. EPA inspector general’s office.
Additionally, the EPA issued an emergency administrative order in October 2017 after one of the system’s two water treatment plants was vandalized, including serious damage to chlorine containers and the chlorine system. Tribal officials said then they suspected a former employee.
The EPA also said that the water systems for Pryor and Wyola have not been properly monitored for contamination. The Pryor system serves 406 customers, an elementary and high school and a medical clinic. The Wyola system serves 261 residents, including an elementary school.
For both systems, multiple deficiencies from 2017 had not been fixed, and no chlorine was present in the most recent May report, according to the EPA. No E.coli was detected, but a lack of chlorine leaves the system vulnerable to contamination, agency officials said.
MTN has left a message for Crow officials and is awaiting a response.
Reporting by Erik Olson for MTN News