Ending long-term drinking water advisories

Everyone in Canada should have access to safe, clean drinking water. The Government of Canada is working with First Nations communities to achieve clean drinking water on reserves.

Latest news

Recently lifted long-term drinking water advisories

Wawakapewin First Nation as of April 20, 2022

The long-term drinking water advisory affecting Wawakapewin First Nation's Public Water System in Ontario has been lifted, effective April 20, 2022. The advisory was lifted following the drilling of two new wells and the installation of a modular water treatment plant to serve the community. The Shibogama Water and Wastewater Hub is providing training and support to the local operators. The water quality now meets all requirements.

Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte as of March 15, 2022

Three long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted in Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, ON, from the Bayview Variety Apartments and Trailer Park Public Water Systems and the All MBQ Semi-Public Water System. The advisories have been lifted following the extension of the community's piped distribution system. The affected homes and buildings now have access to potable water.

Ojibway Nation of Saugeen as of February 16, 2022

The long-term drinking water advisory affecting Ojibway Nation of Saugeen's Health Clinic Semi-Public Water System has been lifted, effective February 16, 2022. The advisory, in effect since April 2018, was lifted following the installation of a new well and point-of-entry treatment system for the clinic. Testing has confirmed that the system produces water that meets all drinking water guidelines. Operational supports are provided to the community through the ISC-funded Centralized Water and Wastewater Hub delivered by Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation. In January 2022, the community lifted the long-term drinking water advisory on their school water system.

Ojibway Nation of Saugeen as of January 24, 2022

The long-term drinking water advisory on the Ojibway Nation of Saugeen's School Water System was lifted on January 24, 2022. The advisory, which had been in effect since April 2018, was lifted following the installation of a new well and construction of a point-of-entry treatment system for the building. Testing has confirmed that the system produces water that meets drinking water guidelines.

Recently added long-term drinking water advisories

Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte as of March 15, 2022

A retroactive long-term drinking water advisory was issued for the Public Works Garage. This building is anticipated to be connected to the community's water system through the First Nation's ongoing project to extend the distribution system to rural areas of the community.

Zagime Anishinabek First Nation as of February 24, 2022

A drinking water advisory affecting Zagime Anishinabek's Public Water System, in Saskatchewan, became long-term on February 24, 2022. A do-not-consume advisory was initially set as a result of increased manganese levels. Although repairs were completed, the system is still not achieving sufficient removal of manganese. In addition to the targeted do-not-consume advisory, a community-wide boil water advisory was added to the system in June 2021 following other treatment issues. Indigenous Services Canada is supporting the installation of a temporary treatment system until long-term upgrades to the water treatment plant are complete. The advisory is currently expected to be lifted by August 2022.

Mishkeegogamang First Nation as of January 7, 2022

A drinking water advisory in Mishkeegogamang First Nation in Ontario on the New Osnaburgh Water Treatment System became long-term on Friday, January 7, 2022. The advisory was put into place in January 2021 as a result of inconsistent plant and water quality monitoring. An assessment of the plant also identified some necessary repairs and upgrades to the treatment process. and Indigenous Services Canada has approved funding to support the upgrades to the plant. The work is scheduled for completion in March 2022 and will meet the immediate drinking water needs of the community, while the design and construction of a long-term solution is implemented.

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Long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

Description of Long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of April 25, 2022

132 long-term drinking water advisories lifted since November 2015.

33 long-term drinking water advisories in effect in 28 communities.

  • In 2015 there were 3 long-term drinking water advisories added and 4 lifted.
  • In 2016 there were 10 long-term drinking water advisories added and 17 lifted.
  • In 2017 there were 13 long-term drinking water advisories added and 19 lifted.
  • In 2018 there were 10 long-term drinking water advisories added and 38 lifted.
  • In 2019 there were 6 long-term drinking water advisories added and 9 advisories lifted.
  • In 2020 there were 13 long-term drinking water advisories added 11 advisories lifted.
  • In 2021 there were 7 long-term drinking water advisories added 28 advisories lifted.
  • In 2022 there were 3 long-term drinking water advisories added and 6 advisories lifted.

Progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

Commitment: End all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve
Description of progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of April 25, 2022

Progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories

  • 80% advisory lifted.
  • 8% project construction complete. Drinking water advisory lift pending.
  • 9% project to lift drinking water advisory under construction.
  • 2% project to lift drinking water advisory in design phase.
  • 1% feasibility study being conducted to address drinking water advisory.

Ensuring essential infrastructure

The Government of Canada works with First Nations to address health and safety needs, ensure proper facility operation and maintenance, and to prevent short-term advisories from becoming long-term.

Ending a drinking water advisory is often complex, spanning multiple phases. Actions to resolve a water or wastewater issue can include:

Completion of a new water treatment system can take 3 to 4 years on average to complete. See the Life-cycle of a First Nations community infrastructure project.

Eliminating long-term drinking water advisories is just one part of ensuring First Nations communities have reliable access to safe drinking water: Investing in water and wastewater infrastructure.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) financially supports public on-reserve water and wastewater systems. Here is a list of Long-term drinking water advisories affecting water systems South of 60 not financially supported by the Government of Canada.

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