First Nation Water
OVERDUE LIFTING OF ADVISORIES: MIAWPUKEK FIRST NATION UPDATE
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by Cori Marshall
Last week WaterToday reported on three First Nation communities that have experienced delays in being removed from the list of water systems on long-term drinking water advisories (DWAs). We followed up with the Miawpukek First Nation, in Conne River, Newfoundland and Labrador.
As we reported the commissioning of the new system was delayed due to "unforeseen computer and operational issues." Speaking with Miawpukek First Nation Chief, Mi'sel Joe, we learned that the issues "are only part of [the story]."
Chief Joe explained that "part of the problem we have here is that almost every [water] line in the community is a copper line that is eroding." He added "as soon as you fix one another one breaks." The Chief underlined that "it is a little more complicated than computers."
"We've been working on this for a long time, we still have sixty or seventy lines left to do this summer," the chief said.
There has been stress that has been put on community members because of not having access to water in their homes. The chief explained that "there were periods we drank bottled water basically, then we went to lake water and built the plant." He added "then we had good water, that didn't last long."
At was at this point that the community noticed the issue with the copper pipes. The chief said that "they looked like they busted clear open and just pours out, and a lot of water." Unfortunately the chief was unable to confirm how much water is lost from these leaks.
As was reported last week the community is scheduled to be removed from the list of long-term advisories in June 2018. Chief Joe said that "as far as I know we are still on track for June, and if we don't make it, it is because of the continuation of water lines busting." He underlined "with the early spring I hope we get done sooner than later."