Okanagan Indian Band celebrates the completion of their water systems improvement project

Okanagan Indian Band celebrates the completion of their water systems improvement project

April 5, 2023 at 2:33 pm  Federal, Politics

April 5, 2023 — Okanagan Indian Band, Vernon, British Columbia — Indigenous Services Canada

On April 5, Okanagan Indian Band held a Water Celebration to mark the completion of their water systems improvement project. Consequently, the community has been able to lift the long-term water quality advisory and ensure that it has enough water storage capacity to provide adequate fire protection.

Since May 10, 2019, Okanagan Indian Band community members have been affected by a water quality advisory, applied by the First Nations Health Authority of British Columbia, affecting one of the Band’s community water systems due to elevated levels of manganese. This meant that bottle-fed infants and expecting mothers had to use bottled water. In addition to the elevated levels of manganese, the community also did not have access to adequate water reservoir capacity, limiting their ability to provide sufficient fire protection.

The improvements made to the Six Mile/Bradley Creek system included upgraded water supply wells, expansion and updating of the water treatment system and doubling of reservoir capacity. This system was then connected to the Irish Creek/Head of the Lake system, where two new larger reservoirs and a control station were added. Testing has shown the water is now safe to drink.

Working in close partnership with community leadership, the Government of Canada invested $11.7 million to support these infrastructure upgrades to two of the Band’s water systems.

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