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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 July 31, 2017, there were 17 Boil Water Advisories and 5 Do Not Consume advisories for a total of 22 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 20 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.

​Boil Water Adv​​isories (BWA)​







First Nation

Community

Water System Name

Date Set  

(yyyy-mm-dd)

Date Revoked  

(yyyy-mm-dd)

Population

INAC Supported*

ADAMS LAKE

Sahhaltkum

Doug Arnouse CWS

2009-04-23


0-50

No

ALEXIS CREEK

Alexis Creek

Michel Gardens CWS

1999-04-01


0-50

No

BONAPARTE

Morgan Upper Hat Creek

Morgan/Upper Hat Creek CWS

2006-02-09


0-50

No

CAYOOSE CREEK

Cayoose Creek IR1

Cayoose Creek IR1 CWS

2017-03-15


101-200

Yes

CAYOOSE CREEK

Cayoose Creek IR2

Cayoose IR2 CWS

2017-03-15


0-50

Yes

COWICHAN

Cowichan Communities

Dougans Lake CWS

2011-06-29


0-50

No

KANAKA BAR

Kanaka Bar

Nekliptum CWS

2017-07-04

2017-07-28

51-100

Yes

OKANAGAN

Salmon River

Salmon River CWS [9 houses]

2017-05-09


0-50

Yes

OKANAGAN

Whiteman Creek

Whiteman Creek CWS [29 houses]

2017-05-09


51-100

Yes

SEMIAHMOO

Semiahmoo

Semiahmoo CWS

2005-10-13


0-50

Yes

SPLATSIN FIRST NATION

IR 2: Enderby

Enderby IR 2 - other purveyor

2017-04-12

2017-05-17

51-100

No

T'IT'Q'ET

Seton Lake Cabins

Seton Lake Cabins CWS

2007-07-24


0-50

Yes

TL'AZT'EN NATION

Dzitl'aini (Middle River)

Dzitl'ainli (Middle River) CWS

2005-01-07


0-50

Yes

TL'ETINQOX-T'IN GOV'T OFFICE

Anaham

Anaham CWS

2017-07-10


501-1000

Yes

UCLUELET FIRST NATION

Wya Point Resort

Wya Point Lodges TPWS-NT

2014-05-20


0-50

No

UCLUELET FIRST NATION

Wya Point Resort

Wya Point Yurts TPWS-NT

2014-05-20


0-50

No

WESTBANK FIRST NATION

Westbank IR  9

IR 9 CWS [serves > 6000 ]

2017-05-05

2017-05-26

1001 or more

Yes

XENI GWET'IN F.NATIONS GOVT

Xeni Gwet'in

Carrot Creek/James Lulua CWS (7)

2001-10-18


0-50

No

XENI GWET'IN F.NATIONS GOVT

Xeni Gwet'in

Lohbiee CWS

2001-05-01


201-500

Yes

YUNESIT'IN

Stone

Stone CWS

2017-07-27


201-500

Yes


​Do Not Consume Advisories (DNC)






First Nation

Community

Water System Name

Date Set  

(yyyy-mm-dd)

Date Revoked  

(yyyy-mm-dd)

Population

INAC Supported*

LYTTON

G'WSEP Gas Station (PWS-NT)

IR #24 Tuckozap PWS-NT

2013-02-20


0-50

No

SODA CREEK

Soda Creek

Soda Creek CWS

2017-07-27


0-50

Yes

SODA CREEK

Deep Cree








*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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