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Water Today Title November 27, 2020

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Update 2018/2/15
First Nation Water


This story is brought to you in part by Hatch

By Cori Marshall

Earlier this month the Tsal'alh First Nation in British Columbia was removed from the list of long-term water advisories. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), and Minister Jane Philpott were eager to share this progress as it fits into the government's goal to end all long-term drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities by March 2021.

The Tsal'alh First Nation was placed under the advisory on November 30, 2016, and according to the list of water advisories published by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in British Columbia 50 people or less were affected.

Trevor Kehoe, Communications Lead at the FNHA, informed us that the BWA was a result of "ongoing poor water quality due to poor well construction and lack of wellhead protection." Prior to the advisory, the "system did not have existing treatment."

The problem of poor water quality and lack of treatment was not addressed in one step. Kehoe explained that "improvements to the well construction and wellhead protection were implemented with no improvement to the water quality." Subsequently, "installation of new treatment was required and is now in place."

Earlier this year ISC announced that it had expanded the number of water systems that it was responsible for and provided funding to. Kehoe confirmed that the water system in the Tsal'alh First Nation community is indeed "now part of the recent expansion of support provided by ISC, and the FNHA list of advisories will be updated to reflect this new level of support."

The Tsal'alh First Nation water, due to the new treatment, has been cleared to drink as of February 5, 2018.


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