Source Water Protection Plan for Low Risk Tribal



Location: The Taos Pueblo is located adjacent to the Town of Taos in northern New Mexico.
The pueblo is the northernmost of the 19 pueblos in New Mexico and encompasses more than
100,000 acres of land. The Taos Pueblo has a population of 2,380.

Water Supply: The Taos Pueblo is totally dependent on ground water. The Taos Pueblo Utility
Service maintains and operates four wells and two storage tanks that provide drinking water to
1,200 customers through 394 residential service connections and 21  commercial service
connections. The Utility Service is a self-supporting enterprise and has established itself as one
of the most efficient and effective tribal utilities in New Mexico.

Source Water Assessment: In September 2001, the Taos Pueblo Utility Service and the EPA
Region 6 Tribal Source Water Assessment Team completed a source water assessment for the
public water supply system owned by the pueblo. The Taos Pueblo community water supply
system (PWS ID #063500191) was determined to have a  low susceptibility rating to
contamination as a result of the assessment.

Priority Contamination Threats

No major threats to the pueblo's drinking water supply were identified by the tribe during the
source water assessment process.

Local Team and Developing the Protection Plan

The Taos Pueblo developed and implemented an EPA approved Wellhead Protection (WHP)
program in 2000. The Taos Pueblo Utility Service is the lead tribal agency responsible for
implementing the WHP program and works closely with other tribal departments and area
stakeholders on source water protection.

Management Measures

The Utility Service, working with the New Mexico  Rural Water Association (NMRWA) Tribal
Source Water Protection specialist determined that community outreach and education about
the tribe's source water protection program was necessary to maintain the quality of the tribe's
drinking water resources. Using Safe Drinking Water Act Set-Aside funds provided by EPA
Region 6, the tribe implemented the following measures to protect their drinking water supply:

     Provided public education beginning with the Taos Pueblo Day School students -
      Kindergarten through 8th grade, then to the Native American  students in the public
      school systems, Tribal Programs and community;
Office of Water (4606M)                      816F10028                            January 2010

      Developed pamphlets and other printed materials that encourage water resource
       protection and conservation to distribute through the public education process;

      Developed and posted signs that delineate the limits of the source water protection
       areas; and

      Repaired/Replaced security fencing to minimize vandalism.

Contingency Planning

The EPA is responsible for working with the tribes to ensure that drinking water supplies are
restored in the event of a disruption of service. The Region 6 Tribal Drinking Water program will
provide technical assistance and funding to ensure an uninterupted drinking water supply for
tribes that need assistance.

Measuring Program  Effectiveness

EPA Region 6 Tribal Drinking Water program works with the New Mexico Rural Water
Association to ensure that tribes maintain a viable Source Water Protection program. The
NMRWA Tribal Source Water Protection program Circuit Rider visits with the tribes to provide
assistance and training on Source Water Protection and then reports implementation progress
to EPA.

For further information, contact:
Bernadette Lefthand, Manager
Taos Pueblo Utility Service
(505) 758-7767
Office of Water (4606M)                        816F10028                              January 2010