John Boros, of City of Surrey water operations turns on two underground roadside taps last December - one for potable water and one for emergency services - marking the completion of the long-awaited connection between SFN and the Surrey water supply. (File photo)

John Boros, of City of Surrey water operations turns on two underground roadside taps last December - one for potable water and one for emergency services - marking the completion of the long-awaited connection between SFN and the Surrey water supply. (File photo)

Semiahmoo First Nation tap water safe to drink again, as 16-year boil water advisory is lifted

New distribution system, connected to Surrey water supply, passes safety testing

In a historic step forward, the Semiahmoo First Nation has announced the lifting of the long-term permanent boil water advisory that has been in place since 2005.

In a media release issued Wednesday (March 31) the nation declared that — after years of negotiating agreements, and two years of constructing water and sanitary infrastructure — drinking water from the tap on SFN lands is safe once again.

The announcement credits the “cooperation and assistance” of the First Nation Health Authority, Indigenous Services Canada, the City of Surrey, engineering consultants Aplin & Martin, and Tybo Contracting.

“The nation lifts their hands in gratitude for all who assisted and participated with the enormous amount of work in getting us to this momentous day,” SFN Chief Harley Chappell said.

He also gave special thanks to the BC regional team of Indigenous Services Canada and support received from ministry headquarters.

READ ALSO: Semiahmoo First Nation to have potable water ‘for sure’ by summer

READ ALSO: SFN, White Rock re-establish water connection

“(We’re) delighted in the working relationship with the federal ministry in fulfilling their commitment is assisting the nation for lifting the Long-term Permanent Boil Water Advisory,” he said.

Chappell also noted the forbearance of the SFN in the process of achieving a safe water supply, which has been a matter of concern for the nation since 1995.

“Most of all, we want to thank our nation’s members for their patience, and we are pleased with the new hope this brings to our future generations,” he said.

READ ALSO: Semiahmoo First Nation lauds water agreement

The recommendation from the First Nation Health authority to lift the advisory followed extensive bacteriological and chlorine sampling on SFN’s new system by the community water monitor.

The new distribution system — which includes over 12 kilometers of pipes, three new pump stations, and 40 home connections — is connected into the Metro Vancouver water source through the City of Surrey.

Through new utility service agreements announced March 18, the City of White Rock is also providing water to some areas of the SFN easier to service from its westernmost border with White Rock.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of SurreyDrinking waterFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terrace Community Fund was able to set up the Dare to Dream Fund with a significant donation from Trumpeter Donnie Clark. (File photo)
Dare to Dream Fund set up after a large donation from musician Donnie Clark

The fund will provide financial support for the Dare to Dream music program in Terrace and Thornhill

The average selling price of a single-family home in Terrace has climbed 26 per cent in the last year. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)
House prices soar in Terrace

Average prices increased by 26 per cent

Nurse Vicki Niemi administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Joyce, 88, on Mar. 23, 2020 at the Terrace Sportsplex. All adults in Terrace are now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccination. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
All adults in Terrace can now register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Community members can register by calling 833-838-2323 or visiting getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca

April 2020 to March 2021 was the second wettest year on record since at least 1969, according to Environment Canada. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Terrace records wettest spell in over a half-century

Terrace saw close to 1,500 millimetres of precipitation between April 2020 and March 2021

Terrace fire department responded to a call from Skeena Saw Mills at the early hours of Friday morning. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)
UPDATE: Fire crews respond to early morning incident at Skeena Sawmills

No injuries were reported as mill workers immediately alerted the fire department after seeing smoke

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Most Read