Navajo Nation school finally gets clean water with help from non-profit

ST. MICHAELS, AZ (KRQE) – Students at a Navajo Nation school have gone the last five years with dirty, smelly water. They’ve had enough, and have asked a national group for help.

The students at St. Michaels Association for Special Education said they’re used to living with dirty water, but they’re excited that it’s finally about to change.

“Our tap water is black and stinky,” claimed the students at St. Michaels.

That’s been the reality for the students at St. Michaels for the last five years, at their school about 20 miles outside of Gallup.

“We have to buy our water at the store and carry it to class,” said the students.

Constantly having to buy water has gotten expensive.

“Some of my co-workers’ classrooms, because they have six or seven students in their class, they’re going through multiple cases of water a week,” said Sami Rapp, the therapy aid at St. Michaels.

That’s why they called Dig Deep for some help. They are a California based non-profit organization that brings clean water to rural places across the country.

“We’re going to capture that water as it enters the property, and we’re going to build a little water treatment plant with three different water filtration processes,” said George McGraw, the founder of Dig Deep. “We’ll make sure that not only clean water is flowing into campus, but it’s not getting dirty anywhere else.”

The organization usually spends at least six months on projects like this, but expects to have clean water for St. Michaels by June.

“The timeline here has really accelerated because of the fact that it is a special needs school and things need to happen quickly because the water is so unsafe,” said McGraw.

With Dig Deep’s help, the students and staff at St. Michaels are just looking forward to finally having clean water right at their fingertips.

“If we got clean water we wouldn’t have to use bottled water. No bottled water. We wouldn’t have to go to the store to buy water for the cafe, and we could drink right out of the tap water,” said Rapp.

The project is expected to get started in June and finish by the end of the month.

If you would like to donate to the students at St. Michaels, you can do so buy donating on Dig Deep’s website.

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