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Drinking Water Advisories

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Drinking water advisories are preventive measures that protect people from drinking water that could be contaminated. In First Nation communities, a drinking water advisory can affect as little as one building and does not always represent a community-wide drinking water problem since communities can have multiple water systems. 

Drinking water advisories can be required due to problems in the water system, such as line breaks, equipment failure and poor filtration or disinfection during water treatment. An advisory might also be needed as a precautionary measure – for example, during emergency repairs to the water distribution system or if a community lacks the required staff to support operation. Some problems can be fixed with routine maintenance procedures. Other issues, such as infrastructure improvements, can require initiating an infrastructure investment project to funding agencies such as ​Indigenous Services C​anada.

FNHA's Environmental Public Health Services (EPHS) provides advice to communities on drinking water safety, including recommendations on when a drinking water advisory is warranted. It is the responsibility of Chief and Council to implement an advisory and take the necessary measures to rectify the problems which led to the advisory. Once remedial measures are completed, EPHS supports communities by verifying that the drinking water is once again safe and is protected from potential future problems.

Types of Drinking Water Advisories include:

Boil Water Advisory (BWA): Issued as a preventive measure when the water in a community's water system is known or suspected to have disease-causing bacteria, viruses or parasites that can cause waterborne illness; or when water quality is questionable and boiling will remove the contaminant from the water. 

Do Not Consume (DNC): Issued when a community's water system contains a contaminant, such as a chemical, that cannot be removed from the water by boiling. The water should not be used for: drinking; brushing teeth; cooking; washing fruits and vegetables; making infant formula or other drinks, soups or ice cubes; for bathing infants and toddlers; or for pets. It may continue to be used for domestic purposes such as showering and bathing.

Do Not Use (DNU): Issued when the water system contains contamination that cannot be removed by boiling and consumption of the water poses a health risk; exposure to the water when bathing could cause skin, eye or nose irritation.

FNHA currently monitors 285 community water systems with 5 or more connections and 49 public water systems that may have fewer than 5 connections and include public facilities.  This is across 193 First Nations in British Columbia.​ 

During 2017, 7 long term (lasting longer than a year) were lifted (6 b​oil water and 1 do not consume advisory).

During 2016, 7 long-term (lasting longer than a year) boil water advisories were lifted.

During 2015, 11 long-term (lasting longer than a year) were lifted (10 boil water advisories and one long-term do not consume advisory). 

Information on drinking water advisories in community water systems is updated on the website on a monthly basis and shows DWAs that were in effect on the specified date. This information​ is not intended to be used for public health messaging. First Nations community members can obtain the most up-to-date information on their drinking water through their Chief and Council, or their local ​FNHA EHO.​

External and media inquiries can be directed to FNHA Medi​a Relations.​

Monthly Drinking Water Advisories in First Nations Communities in BC

Water systems with 5 or more connections (CWS) and smaller water systems that have public facilities (PWS).​​

Summ​​ary: As of October 31, 2018, there were 10 Boil Water Advisories and 3 Do Not Consume advisories for a total of 13 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 13 Water Systems across 10 First Nation communities in British Columbia.  This includes water systems with 5 or more connections and smaller water systems that have public facilities.

Boil Water Advisories (BWA)​
First NationCommunityWater System NameDate Set 
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Date Revoked 
(yyyy-mm-dd)
PopulationISC Supported*
ALEXIS CREEKAlexis CreekMichel Gardens CWS1999-04-012018-10-120-50Yes*
BONAPARTEMorgan Upper Hat CreekMorgan/Upper Hat Creek CWS2006-02-090-50Yes*
CANIM LAKECanim LakeCanim Lake East CWS2018-10-04101-200Yes
CANIM LAKECanim LakeCanim Lake West CWS2018-09-2451-100Yes
LOWER SIMILKAMEENIR 6 - Blind CreekBlind Creek CWS2018-07-172018-10-120-50Yes
SEMIAHMOOSemiahmooSemiahmoo CWS2005-10-130-50Yes
SHUSWAPStoddart Creek CWSStoddart Creek CWS2018-10-040-50Yes
SONGHEES FIRST NATIONSongheesSonghees CWS2018-10-022018-10-16201-500Yes
TL'AZT'EN NATIONDzitl'lainli (Middle River)Dzitl'ainli (Middle River) CWS2005-01-070-50Yes
UCLUELET FIRST NATIONWya Point ResortWya Point Lodges TPWS-NT2014-05-200-50No
UCLUELET FIRST NATIONWya Point ResortWya Point Yurts TPWS-NT2014-05-200-50No
XENI GWET'IN F.NATIONS GOVTXeni Gwet'inCarrot Creek/James Lulua CWS (7)2001-10-180-50Yes*
XENI GWET'IN F.NATIONS GOVTXeni Gwet'inLohbiee CWS2001-05-01201-500Yes


​​Do Not Consume Advisories (DNC)
First NationCommunityWater System NameDate Set 
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Date Revoked 
(yyyy-mm-dd)
PopulationISC Supported*
LYTTONG'WSEP Gas Station (PWS-NT)IR #24 Tuckozap PWS-NT2013-02-200-50No
STELLAT'EN FIRST NATIONStellaquoStellaquo CWS2012-03-13101-200Yes
WET'SUWET'EN FIRST NATIONPalling IR #1Palling CWS2012-03-1351-100Yes

*ISC Supported:
Yes = System is financially supported by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)
LTDWA = ISC is financially supporting the lifting of this long-term DWA.  See 
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1506514143353/1506514230742
No = Neither system nor lifting of long-term advisory are financially supported by ISC.  See 

Population: Provides an estimated number of people served by this water system.


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