Drinking Water 

Maintaining a drinkable Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille | Pend Oreille River

Keeping our waters Swimmable, Fishable, and Drinkable

Clean drinking water is essential for human life! Our mission is to help keep Lake Pend Oreille and the surrounding waterways swimmable, fishable, and drinkable for future generations. This page is designed to help you identify where your drinking water comes from and to learn about the health of your tap water.

 

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Keeping our drinking water safe

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996, all states are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess all sources of public drinking water. These assessments determine the source’s relative susceptibility to over 90 contaminants regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) conducts source water assessments based on an inventory of potential contaminants, land uses within the delineated source water assessment area, sensitivity factors associated with the watershed characteristics, and construction of the surface water intake. This information is published online on their Source Water Assessment Database.

Also under the SDWA, the EPA requires community water systems to deliver a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), also known as a drinking water quality report, to their customers every year by July 1st. The CCR informs the consumer where their drinking water comes from and what is in their water. IDEQ requires community water systems to provide annual certification that their reports have been delivered.

To ensure the health of our drinking water, IDEQ provides a free service to help communities create a Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP) for public water systems. A SWPP helps proactively protect our drinking water sources from becoming contaminated and minimizes the risk of public health issues due to source water pollution. We encourage public drinking water systems to create and implement a SWPP for the health of our community and to ensure healthy drinking water for the future.

A Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper Project in partnership with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

Drinking water source locations

Source water is defined as untreated groundwater and surface waters, such as aquifers, springs, rivers, streams, and lakes, which are then used to supply drinking water for public water systems. In Idaho there are approximately 1,960 public water systems and about 3,500 active sources which provide water to nearly 1.5 million people. In Bonner County, there are 226 active sources including wells, springs, and surface waters. For this project, we have focused on the major providers for communities around our watershed, especially those which draw from the surface of Lake Pend Oreille or the Pend Oreille River.

The locations on our map are approximate and are meant to represent a general location in order to protect the safety of your drinking water source location – reach out to your provider if you would like more accurate information. We will update this page regularly as we continue to research information regarding local drinking water providers. According to information provided in the Source Water Assessments done by IDEQ, there are currently no levels of concern for all the public water systems listed! For up to date information on the quality of your tap water, check out Idaho’s Drinking Water Watch for current and historic contaminant levels and violations for your drinking water provider. 

Use this interactive map to see more information for each drinking water source location – zoom in and click on a drop pin to view a specific location. Each location includes information pertinent to that drinking water source location, such as where the intake is located, who it serves, how the water is treated, and susceptibility to potential contaminants. Locations that have a SWPP are green and locations without a SWPP are red. 

Lake Pend Oreille

City of Sandpoint – Lake Pend Oreille

Island View Trailer Resort – Lake Pend Oreille

Oden Water Association – Lake Pend Oreille

Sourdough Point – Lake Pend Oreille

Sunnyside Water Association – Lake Pend Oreille

Pend Oreille River

City of Dover – Pend Oreille River

City of Priest River – Pend Oreille River

Laclede Water District – Pend Oreille River

Streams, Springs, & Wells

Bayview Water & Sewer District – 2 Wells

City of Clark Fork – 2 Wells

City of Sandpoint – Little Sand Creek

East Hope Water Department – Strong Creek

Hope Water System – Composite Spring

Mountain Springs Water Corporation – 3 Wells

Sourdough Point – 2 Wells

Southside Water & Sewer – 2 Wells

Help protect our drinking water sources!

Follow these 5 tips to help protect our drinking water sources for you and your community

1. Know what’s going on in your watershed and advocate for safe practices, such as using renewable energy resources, biological control of aquatic invasive species, and proper wastewater treatment.

2. Plant a rain garden or shrubberies along waterways to filter sediment and lawn chemicals that could drain into our waterways.

3. Clean up after your pets so that their waste does not run into nearby streams or storm drains.

4. Participate in local clean up events, such as our annual Sand Creek Clean Up, to prevent garbage and plastic from ending up in our waterways.

5. Use safer non-toxic cleaning products to around your house and limit the amount of pesticides and herbicides used in your lawn and garden.

6. Protect your stormwater by washing your car in your lawn, properly cleaning up oil spills, and using little to no road salt during the winter.

Water treatment methods

Drinking water in the United States is considered to be among the safest in the world. However, our drinking water sources are still susceptible to becoming contaminated. Protecting the source of our drinking water is only one of the ways in which we ensure that our tap water is clean and safe to drink. Public drinking water providers also treat the water before distributing it to their communities using a variety of different methods. The most common steps to treat source water include coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection.  

Interested in learning more about water treatment methods? Check out the links below or watch this video for more information:

Resources

IDEQ – Water Quality – Drinking Water
Information and resources regarding drinking water in Idaho, such as contaminants in our drinking water and water quality sample results.

EPA – Ground Water and Drinking Water
Links to a wide variety of ground water and drinking water resources, including educational resources, drinking water health advisories, and EPA regulated contaminants. Learn more about the Safe Drinking Water Act as well as how you can test your drinking water at home.

Idaho Rural Water Association – Services – Learn About Source Water
Learn about source water in Idaho and source water protection. The Idaho Rural Water Association (IRWA) provides services to public water systems by helping them develop and implement SWPPs, create CCRs, educate the public on the importance of source water protection, and more!

CDC – Drinking Water – Water Treatment
How many public drinking water systems remove contaminants using coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection in order to provide safe drinking water for their communities.

CDC – Safe Water Treatment – Slow Sand Filtration
How slow sand filters (such as the one used in Dover) are used to treat water for household use.

United Nations – Human Right to Water
In 2002, the United Nations officially adopted water as a human right. Learn more about what this means around the world and why having access to water is essential to human health.

Our Drinking Water brochure

Click on the image view to see the PDF version of our drinking water brochure. You can also find these brochures distributed across Sandpoint at local businesses and restraunts.

Support us!

Help us keep Lake Pend Oreille and the surrounding waterways swimmable, fishable, and drinkable for years to come!

Become a Citizen Scientist!

Become a trained citizen scientist. Collecting water samples is a great way to enjoy time on the water & get involved in active stewardship of our local waterways!