Water: Wastewater Management Process
Wastewater in Tribal Communities - Basic Information
In 2006, approximately 21,000 occupied housing units on American Indian reservations and trust lands lacked access to basic wastewater services. Native American and Alaskan Native communities are more likely to lack access to wastewater services than other population groups in the United States.
Common challenges to achieving and maintaining sustainable wastewater treatment systems faced by tribal communities include (but are not limited to):
- Economic / financial limitations;
- Inability to sustain community-wide systems (lack of economies of scale);
- Inability to attract and maintain system operators;
- Lack of managerial competency and consistency;
- Extreme topography and climate;
- Geographic isolation / remoteness.
EPA is working in partnership with tribal communities, other federal agencies, tribal organizations, state agencies and others to help build tribal wastewater infrastructure, improve water pollution control programs, and strengthen tribal capacity to effectively manage their public health and water resource programs.