Water Quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is the primary federal agency responsible for administering the Clean Water Act (CWA). Federally recognized Tribes are eligible to administer certain activities of the CWA including the development of water quality programs and standards. On April 3, 2018 the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians was granted treatment in a manner similar to a state (TAS) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Clean Water Act §§ 303(c) and 401. With this authority, the Rincon Tribe can develop water quality standards for waterways within the reservation, similar to the process used by states under the Clean Water Act. After the Tribe develops the standards, and EPA approves, the Tribe can then administer surface water quality standards, building upon existing successful environmental programs. In 2021-2022, pursuant to its TAS, the Rincon Band developed its Tribal Water Quality Standards.

The Rincon Environmental Department manages and analyzes collected water quality data and provides information and outreach materials to the community, and organizes community events to promote and encourage water conservation and the responsible management of water.

The goals of the Rincon Environmental Department’s water quality monitoring program are to assess whether water quality criteria are being met and beneficial uses are being supported in the waters of the Rincon Reservation, to establish a baseline of water quality condition for all waters, and to identify changes in water quality. Monitoring is also conducted to evaluate whether there are water quality impacts on groundwater from nonpoint source pollution originating from land use and management activities, and to identify and prioritize the need for adaptive management or restoration.

A Water Conservation Project

A hose bibb is the outdoor water faucet protruding from your house that you hook your garden hose to. Leaky hose bibs have been a noticeable problem for years all over the reservation. Sometimes it’s easy to think “oh it’s only a few drops, that can’t be too much in the grand scheme of things”. This is not true. These small leaks can add up to a big loss of water.or years all over the reservation.

Over time, a leaking hose bibb can even cause water damage to your home’s foundation, which will turn into a much larger and more expensive repair. It also has the potential to contribute to mold and mildew growth. Therefore, it is imperative that we act to prevent the wasting of this precious, limited resource.

To combat the loss of water through leaky hose bibbs, the Rincon Environmental Department has obtained grant funding to pay for the replacement and installation of up to 3 replacement hose bibbs with backflow prevention for all residential and commercial customers of Rincon’s two public water systems installed by the tribe at no cost to them. These replacement hose bibbs will have backflow prevention, which will protect the tribe’s wells, and will help to significantly reduce water loss through leakage.

Hose bibbs will be installed by a contractor. Installations are complete for customers on the northern half of the reservation. Installation of the new hose bibbs are anticipated to take place for customers on the southern half of the reservation in Summer 2022.

Go back to Rincon Environmental Department (RED) Page.