First Nation water
DIY WATER TANKS, AN ALTERNATE SOLUTION FOR FIRST NATION DRINKING WATER?
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by Cori Marshall
Water is essential for human societies and human survival. As we have seen water stress is a growing concern. Though the federal government, through Indigenous Service Canada (ISC), is making significant amounts of money and training available to combat the lack of safe drinking water in First Nations communities, there are still communities that are on long-term Drinking Water Advisories (DWA).
Several DWAs have been removed since the Liberal government came to power in the fall of 2015, but is commissioning large treatment plants and distribution systems the only avenue to accomplish the goal of removing all long-term DWAs by March 2021?
George Bojeczko, Director of Business Development for Canada Tank Solutions, doesn't believe so.
Canada Tank Solutions is a bolted tank supplier that has installations across Canada. Bojeczko explained that the technology has existed "since 1952," though their "particular design is more modern, a 1980 model."
Bolted tanks are very plug and play, Bojeczko said that "it basically comes to you like a Lego set and you put it together." On the advantageous side, "it lowers the cost of a field welded tank, [...] and it goes up a lot quicker."
The tanks that are offered by Canada Tanks solutions are used in many industries, from mining to cement. They can be used for drinking water, wastewater and fire suppression. Bojeczko said that another application for their tanks, "they are being used as an MBBR system," what that means is "they are bioreactors for contaminated water."
The problem of some communities living without drinking water is "impossible," Bojeczko said, their tanks "can be installed in the summer and you'll have water by the fall." If the community is accessible by land or water, the tanks can be transported there.
The tanks are versatile, Bojeczko explained "they can be used for drinking water, or you can make it a combination tank," which adds fire suppression capabilities for a given community.
"You can put up a hundred-thousand gallon tank in a week."
George Bojeczko, Director of Business Development for Canada Tank Solutions,
Bojeczko doesn't buy that in 2018 there are communities that cannot get access to clean drinking water. Further, they can be installed by the communities themselves, "all you need is a [person] with skill who can train others," Bojeczko said. The tanks can be insulated and heated in the winter.
When asked what type of skill is needed to install these tanks Bojeczko said "basically you need a person who can work with nut and bolts, who can read a drawing and can be trained."
An important part of any venture such as this is the costs associated with it. Bojeczko said "a hundred-thousand-gallon tank installed on a ring foundation, can be done for less than $200 thousand," plus freight. The price is relative as well if communities came together to purchase tanks in quantity costs "can be negotiated," Bojeczko said.
This is a relatively easy and inexpensive means of providing drinking water to a community. Installation time is minimal and could be a solution for communities that are facing water stress and long-term DWAs. Bojeczko said they have never been approached by officials to inquire about their tanks.
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