On December 5th, Toosey First Nation (Tl’esqox First Nation) in British Columbia announced that it has completed a new water treatment system.

The water system includes a new well, water treatment plant, and distribution system. Once commissioned, the system will provide clean, healthy drinking water to the more than 340 residents and eliminate a boil water advisory that’s been in place for more than 10 years.

“I would like to give gratitude and thanks for the support that was provided. It has been a long time coming and having the new water system will provide safe, clean drinking water for the people in our community, and no more bottled water,” said Chief Francis Laceese of the Toosey First Nation.

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Don Sparks, operations and maintenance manager at Toosey First Nation, has been working with True Consulting who has provided the water treatment system. The system is expected to have a capacity of over 11,000 litres per day (3,000 gallons) and will be operated by Don and a part-time assistant.

The system uses chlorine and a manganese and folix media to treat the water. Backflush is conducted every 3–4 days.

Tl’esqox First Nation is located in the Fraser Canyon approximately 50 km southwest of Williams Lake, British Columbia.

The Government of Canada invested $3.1 million to support completion of the Toosey water treatment system, including $1.5 million from Budget 2016. Approximately $275 million of 2016’s federal investments have been allocated to support 195 water and wastewater projects in First Nation communities, including 25 aimed at addressing 34 long-term drinking water advisories.

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, congratulated Toosey First Nation for its completion of the treatment system.”Ten years under a drinking water advisory is simply unacceptable. Today marks an extremely important day for the members of Toosey First Nation. This new system will provide safe, clean, reliable drinking water to the community for many years to come. Our Government has pledged to end all long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities within the next five years, and we are determined to see more communities like Toosey First Nation access clean drinking water,” said Minister Bennett.

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