The Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s long-term boil water advisory finally came to an end this March.
In a news release issued by the First Nation, Chief Maureen Luggi and the elected council of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation announced that the long-term Permanent Boil Water Advisory for the nation had been lifted. The advisory was lifted on March 18.
The ban had been in place since March 13, 2013 according to Indigenous Services Canada website and has now been resolved with upgrades to treatment processes and a feasibility study to determine long-term solution. The ban was put in place after arsenic was found in the water and the people were asked not to consume this water directly.
The news release said that while currently there was a temporary water treatment plant installed, plans are being worked upon to install a more permanent structure. However, with the lifting of the advisory, band members no longer need to boil water or use bottled water for their cooking and consumption.
The long-term permanent boil water advisory affected 24 Wet’suwet’en First Nation homes and four commercial buildings.
“To finally lift the ‘Do not consume water’ advisory for our community is a momentous day for us,” said Luggi in the news release and expressed her gratitude to the First Nations Health Authority and Indigenous Services Canada for their financial and technical support with this solution. “They will also help ensure that this temporary solution can be a sustainably and safely operated water system going forward.”
The First Nations Health Authority and Indigenous Services Canada provided both financial and engineering support and also did testing of the water before, during and after the installation of the temporary plant.