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

Edna Whiteley in 2016. “Her whole life has been happy and about helping others,” says her nephew Bob Steed. Photo: Submitted
Nelson’s ‘little firecracker’ Edna Whiteley turns 100

Whiteley is known as a welcoming ambassador for new arrivals in the city

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

An animal carrier full of bullet holes and containing a dead animal was found near Castlegar. Photo: Colleen Schwartz
Castlegar woman finds dead animal inside carrier riddled with bullet holes

The remains were discovered near Syringa Creek Provincial Park

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
Kootenay-Columbia MP pans federal budget

Conservative Rob Morrison says budget doesn’t have a plan for long-term spending priorities

These are the faces we were born with, we are sorry.
VIDEO: Wednesday Roundup

Bill and Tyler chat about the latest in Nelson

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Most Read