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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 and Northern Affairs Canada.

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.

As of May 31, 2017, there were 18 Boil Water Advisories and 3 Do Not Consume advisories for a total of 21 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 19 First Nation communities in British Columbia. This includes water systems with 5 or more connections and smaller water systems that have public facilities.

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

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

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.


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Boil Water Advisories (BWA)

First​​ NationCommunityWater System NameDate Set 
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Date Revoked 
(yyyy-mm-dd)
PopulationINAC Supported*
ADAMS LAKESahhaltkumDoug Arnouse CWS2009-04-230-50No
ALEXIS CREEKAlexis CreekMichel Gardens CWS1999-04-010-50No
BONAPARTEMorgan Upper Hat CreekMorgan/Upper Hat Creek CWS2006-02-090-50No
CAYOOSE CREEKCayoose Creek IR1Cayoose Creek IR1 CWS2017-03-15101-200Yes
CAYOOSE CREEKCayoose Creek IR2Cayoose IR2 CWS2017-03-150-50Yes
COMOXComoxComox CWS2017-05-31101-200Yes
COWICHANCowichan CommunitiesDougans Lake CWS2011-06-290-50No
LOWER SIMILKAMEENIR 6 - Blind CreekBlind Creek CWS2016-05-072017-05-080-50Yes
OKANAGANSalmon RiverSalmon River CWS [9 houses]2017-05-090-50Yes
OKANAGANWhiteman CreekWhiteman Creek CWS [29 houses]2017-05-0951-100Yes
SEMIAHMOOSemiahmooSemiahmoo CWS2005-10-130-50Yes
SETON LAKENkiatN'Kiat CWS2015-09-210-50No
SPLATSIN FIRST NATIONIR 2: EnderbyEnderby IR 2 - other purveyor2017-04-1251-100No
T'IT'Q'ETSeton Lake CabinsSeton Lake Cabins CWS2007-07-240-50Yes
TL'AZT'EN NATIONDzitl'aini (Middle River)Dzitl'ainli (Middle River) CWS2005-01-070-50Yes
TOOSEYTooseyToosey CWS2004-11-252017-05-08101-200Yes
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)2001-10-180-50No
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)
Population​INAC 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
*Population: Provides an estimated number of people served by this water system.

**INAC Supported: System is financially supported Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada.

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