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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:

Latest news

Recently added long-term drinking water advisories

Anishnaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation, ON as of February 15, 2020

A drinking water advisory in Anishnaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation on the Big Island Public Water System became long-term on February 15, 2020, after being in place for more than 12 months. The advisory was put in place in February 2019 based on an engineering assessment that determined the current water treatment plant does not meet the minimum treatment requirements. With support from ISC, the First Nation is in the process of hiring a qualified design consultant for the upgrades to the existing facility that will resolve this issue.

Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, ON as of February 5, 2020

A drinking water advisory in Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation on the Nigigoonsiminikaaning Public Water System became long-term on February 5, 2020, after being in place for more than 12 months. The advisory was put in place in February 2019 as a precautionary measure while upgrades to the water treatment plant were underway causing a temporary bypass of several steps in the treatment process. The upgrades were completed. However, high turbidity, or cloudiness, levels were found during performance testing. With support from ISC, the First Nation is working with the design consultant, contractor and treatment supplier to identify a solution.

Fort Severn First Nation, ON as of February 4, 2020

A drinking water advisory in Fort Severn First Nation on the Fort Severn Public Water System became long-term on February 4, 2020, after being in place for more than 12 months. The advisory was put in place in February 2019 due to turbidity, or cloudiness, post-treatment exceeding regulatory requirements, and was extended in the Fall of 2019 due to a significant leak in the distribution system. With support from ISC, the First Nation and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Water and Wastewater HUB have addressed the leaks in the distribution system and are working to stabilize water plant operations and water quality monitoring.

Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, ON as of January 21, 2020

A drinking water advisory in Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, in Ontario, became long-term on January 21, 2020, after being in place for more than 12 months. The advisory was put in place in January 2019 due to inadequate treatment and disinfection systems. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is currently working with the First Nation to advance the detailed design phase for the construction of a new water treatment plant and upgrades to the distribution system. With support from ISC, the First Nation has hired an engineering consultant to begin that work, as well as to examine options for an interim solution that would see the drinking water advisory resolved sooner.

Recently lifted long-term drinking water advisories

Lac Seul First Nation, ON as of January 7, 2020

Lac Seul First Nation (Ontario) lifted a long-term drinking water advisory from the Kejick Bay water treatment plant on January 7, 2020. The drinking water advisory, in effect since February 2003, was lifted after the completion of a new water treatment plant in the community.

Other news

January 2020 monthly progress update on drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

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 reserve as of February 15, 2020
  • All long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves lifted by March 2021.
  • 88 long-term drinking water advisories lifted since November 2015.
  • 61 long-term drinking water advisories remain.
  • Projects underway or completed as of September 30, 2019:
    • 441 projects to repair, upgrade or build infrastructure
    • 59 supporting projects and initiatives
    • 74 feasibility studies and projects in the design phase

Long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

Description of long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

This line graph depicts the number of long-term drinking water advisories in effect between November 2015 and February 15, 2020 and projected numbers of long-term drinking water advisories expected to be in effect by the end of June and December of each calendar year from 2018 through 2021. It also depicts the projected number of houses and community buildings affected by long-term advisories.

  • In November 2015 there were 105 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves.
  • As of February 15, 2020, 61 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves were in effect.
  • By end of June 2020 it is projected there will be 40 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves. Approximately 2,306 homes and 140 community buildings served by a public water system will be under advisory.
  • By end of December 2020, it is projected there will be 11 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves. Approximately 979 homes and 53 community buildings served by a public water system will be under advisory.
  • In March 2021 it is projected there will be 0 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves. Zero homes and community buildings served by a public water system will be under 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.

Explore the map for highlights of efforts underway across Canada

The Government of Canada is working with First Nations to end long-term drinking water advisories (LT-DWAs). In the table below, "LT-DWA" refers to long-term drinking water advisories which have been in effect for more than 12 months. ISC provides funding for public water systems that serve five or more household service connections for residences that are occupied year round. ISC also provides funding for public water systems serving public facilities funded through ISC. These water systems are managed and operated by the band, a band-owned utility or qualified third party under contract.

Visit Long-term advisories affecting water systems not financially supported by the Government of Canada South of 60.

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Results
L-T DWAs lifted since November 2015 on public systems ISC financially supported in lifting the L-T DWA: Current L-T DWAs on systems ISC financially supports in lifting the L-T DWA

Category Region First Nation Water system name Type of advisory Date advisory set Long term advisory since Actual/targeted resolution date Population Project phase Action
 
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